Sophie Caffrey wins Apprentice of the Year award at 2018 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards
Sophie Caffrey was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2018 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards in February, in recognition of her contributions to engineering projects and to outreach work undertaken as a STEM Ambassador, engaging with many secondary school pupils through a variety of engineering-related initiatives.
It was the first year that the awards have recognised an outstanding apprentice. Since establishing the awards in 2011, they have aimed to promote successful STEM role models to inspire the younger generation to follow in their footsteps. With this year’s theme being ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s World’, the 2018 FDM everywoman awards focused on the importance of nurturing an interest in STEM subjects from a young age – something Sophie is actively involved with as a STEM Ambassador. Currently, there’s a dearth of female students pursuing these subjects, with only 17.2% of computer science students and 17% of engineering & technology students being female.
Sophie, who is a third year technical apprentice, was inspired to pursue engineering after visiting her first-ever Apprentice Open Day at Leonardo. Her first complete project as an apprentice saw her taking responsibility for the design of a Printed Circuit Board, which was subsequently used on every global trial of the related product in 2017.
In addition to this award, Sophie was a finalist in the IET's Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2017, due to her passion for helping young people understand more about the full span of STEM Careers which they could pursue in the future.
“Winning the apprenticeship category at the inaugural FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards was a huge honour,” said Sophie. “Along with being a finalist in the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE) Awards on the 40th anniversary of the prize, in December 2017, it has been an amazing experience to be involved in these competitions and to have met so many inspirational engineering role models. For me, it is also satisfying to see the value of apprenticeships being recognised, as well as the contribution apprentices make to so many industries.”
Kam Perry, Engineering Director of Leonardo’s Airborne and Space Systems Division in the UK, added: “We’re so proud of Sophie’s award win. She is an outstanding STEM Ambassador – both in her role and in the outreach work she does in the community. Well done Sophie!”