For Jamie- Lee Francis winning the prestigious ICE WM Technician Award was unbelievable. ‘I honestly couldn’t believe I’d been nominated. When they contacted me via email to tell me I’d been shortlisted I actually called them back to check if it was a mistake’. Jamie-Lee needn’t have worried though as she went on to win the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Technician Award 2018. Jamie-Lee’s humility in light of her achievements is striking.
The 21 year-old local student began her educational engineering path at Solihull College & University Centre studying a BTEC in Civil Engineering whilst working at Arup. She then moved on to study her HNC whilst working for Kier Group plc. Recognising her abilities and aptitude for engineering, her former tutor got in contact with new tutor Steve Lintern and he put her forward for an award.
‘I think I was nominated because I understood what I was studying straight away’ Jamie-Lee states, ‘I completed my Engineering NVQ in under a year when usually they take between 18 months to 2 years’.
Spending one day a week at college and the others at Kier, Jamie-Lee has been studying whilst working since she was 17.
The ICE awards took place at the ICC at a dinner in May attended by over 270 guests. Talented young engineers and students were celebrated alongside other industry engineers.
Jamie-Lee’s award in an industry still predominantly male dominated is an important one. ‘Engineering can be an amazing subject to study’ she offers, ‘it depends on the person you are. Engineering seems like it’s going to be one thing but it’s actually more multi-faceted than people think. To any young people out there considering a career in engineering, the profession is so diverse, there’s a good chance that you’ll fit in somewhere.’
For the foreseeable future Jamie-Lee is happy at Kier where she feels she is growing and learning daily. She says the award has motivated her to keep working hard. She added: “I think it is easy to sometimes feel like “you’re just doing your job” or that you could be doing more, no matter how hard you work. But things like this make me realise, people do notice me”.
To explore engineering courses at Solihull College & University Centre please visit www.solihull.ac.uk