Woman engineer cleans up Christmas

An environmental engineer has scooped a prestigious award aimed at raising the profile of women working in the industry.

Katy Roelich, won the 2005 Karen Burt Memorial Award for women in engineering after being nominated by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

The annual award commemorates the life and work of Dr Karen Burt, an eminent physicist who died tragically young in June 1997 and is given to a high calibre newly-chartered female engineer in any discipline who has demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of her profession.

Katy’s entry described her leadership role in work to clean up the UK’s military waste legacy on Christmas Island, in the Pacific.

She is currently a senior environmental engineer in Arup’s Leeds office, has five years’ experience in public and private sector projects in the UK and overseas, from track works at St Pancras Station in London to Environmental Impact Assessment in the North York Moors

“I’m thrilled to have been nominated by CIWEM for this award and to win it is a real honour,” she said.

“It’s been a great opportunity to raise the profile of both CIWEM and women engineers – two causes very close to my heart.

“Arup, a CIWEM Business Affiliate, is a member of the Women’s Engineering Society and positively encourages diversity and equal opportunities.

“Both Arup and my former company, Safety and Ecology Corporation, have been very supportive of me as an engineer,” Katy added.

Rosemary Butler, CIWEM director of membership said: “Katy is a wonderful example of CIWEM’s high calibre members doing valuable and interesting work that enhances sustainability at home and abroad.

“Putting our women members forward for the Karen Burt Award is one way the Institution actively promotes our commitment to reflecting the gender and ethnic make-up of society in employment across the environment sector, including within the technical environmental industries.”

As Site Environmental Engineer for the remediation of military waste on Christmas Island in the Pacific earlier this year, Katy’s work included production and implementation of a project Environmental Management System, management of site inductions and health and safety, and establishment of on-island quality management.

By Sam Bond

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