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Department of Engineering

Top honour for Engineering alumna

Top honour for Engineering alumna

Sakthy Selvakumaran

A graduate from the Department of Engineering has been named as one of thirty young rising stars of the manufacturing world.

I am passionate about highlighting the exciting opportunities on offer to encourage young people to give real consideration to engineering and manufacturing careers.

Sakthy Selvakumaran

'Make it in Great Britain' is a Government initiative to help highlight and celebrate British manufacturing. The 'Make it in Great Britain' campaign has chosen thirty young rising stars of the manufacturing world - '30 Under 30'- of which alumna Sakthy Selvakumaran is one. The 24-year-old was described by the judging panel as being "a true high-flyer, standing out from her peers and demonstrating passion, enthusiasm and ambition in her role."

The young professionals were selected by a panel of expert judges and come from all walks of manufacturing. They include young talent from companies such as Pendennis Shipyard and GlaxoSmithKline as well as small and medium-sized enterprises such as The Paper Cup Company and Vantage Power.

All aged under 30, the finalists will now go on to act as ambassadors for the 'Make it in Great Britain' campaign, which aims to transform the image of modern manufacturing. They will have a special role in engaging with other young people, to ensure that the next generation is aware of the opportunities and careers in the engineering industry.

Sakthy graduated in 2010 and now works full time on civil structures as a member of the engineering team at Ramboll. She spent most of her holidays before graduating assisting with a number of projects including the assessment of bridge upgrades for the enlargement programme of the Docklands Light Railway. For her masters research project, Sakthy carried out an analysis of micro-hydroelectric power schemes in the remote Peruvian Andes, undertaking both desk research and working out in the field. Immediately after graduating, Sakthy worked in Spain for a year with Davis Langdon and with the charity, Engineers Without Borders UK, having won the opportunity through a 2011 Vodafone World of Difference Award. She was also part of a team awarded a Commendation in the Society of Public Health Engineers' Young Engineers Award 2011.

Visiting the Engineering Department's Baker Building to meet year 12 students attending a summer workshop, Sakthy told the aspiring engineers: "The opportunities here in the Department of Engineering are endless. Whatever you want to do you will find someone prepared to help you. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and experiences of my time in Cambridge."

She added: "There are a wealth of jobs in manufacturing - from the conception and design of new technologies and processes through to actually delivering and making them. I am passionate about highlighting the exciting opportunities on offer to encourage young people to give real consideration to engineering and manufacturing careers, which are a rewarding way of using your skills to create solutions for society's most pressing challenges. As a sector we need to encourage fresh talent into the industry."

An obvious advocate of engineering as a career, Sakthy encourages university applications from minority ethnic groups and youths from disadvantaged areas through mentoring and speaking at events and is thoroughly enjoying her role as a '30 Under 30' ambassador.

Paul Jackson, CEO of Engineering UK and one of the '30 Under 30' judges said:"I am always impressed at the level of young talent present in manufacturing and engineering, and over the years have met countless young people brimming with potential who have gone on to achieve great things.

"That is one of the reasons why I am supporting 'Make it in Great Britain', and why I was happy to be a judge for the '30 under 30'."

The 'Make it in Great Britain' campaign aims to challenge outdated perceptions of the UK manufacturing industry, which is worth approximately £137bn to the UK economy each year and employs 2.5 million people.

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