An inspirational young engineer from Skipton has been shortlisted for the Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE) awards, organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Sara Underwood, an apprentice at Rolls-Royce, Barnoldswick, has been named as a YWE finalist due to her impressive professional achievements and ambassadorial work.

The YWE awards, now in their 37th year, recognise the outstanding achievements of female engineers, while highlighting engineering as a worthwhile and exciting career choice for women.

Today women make up only seven per cent of the engineering workforce so these awards are one of a number of IET initiatives to encourage more women into the industry. As a higher apprentice at Rolls-Royce, Sara spends time working in multiple teams within the manufacturing engineering department. She works on process, quality and product improvements to help cut time and costs to the business.

Her apprenticeship has given her the opportunity to develop her knowledge academically through her HNC in manufacturing engineering, whilst allowing her to put her learning into practice in a corporate environment.

Sara will start a BEng degree in manufacturing systems engineering at Liverpool John Moores University in January and hopes, in the future, to have the opportunity to undertake a MEng as she works towards Chartered Engineer status.

Sara is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ambassador and is involved in helping to promote apprenticeships to young people. In her spare time she enjoys sailing, helping with a friend’s farm and growing vegetables in her garden.

The award winner will be announced at the Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards ceremony at the Pullman London St Pancras Hotel today.

As well as the main award, winners of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) award and the Mary George Memorial Prize for an outstanding apprentice will also be announced.