The COVID Unsung Heroes Awards 2022 – a great success

This prestigious awards ceremony at Windsor Castle was a great success, in large part because longstanding WISE Patron Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, was with us to celebrate incredible women in STEM… 

Wind and rain didn’t dampen the spirits of attendees at Windsor Castle this week, as Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, supporters and special guests joined WISE to celebrate the finalists of the COVID Unsung Heroes Awards 2022.  

The WISE team met with HRH, who personally handed out awards to the winners for the  incredible work they had done during the pandemic.  

This WISE event aimed to recognise and honour those women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) who have made such a valuable contribution to society during these difficult times. 

Sir Patrick Vallance, and Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE were just two of the high profile names on the CUHA guest list. 

Celebrating Women in STEM 

The CUHA22 awards judges had to make some difficult decisions since the finalists had all done outstanding work in their field. Winners were chosen ahead of the event and the judges read descriptions of their work to attendees on the night.  

Kay Hussain, Chief Executive of WISE, said:  “It has been an honour and a privilege to witness the work of these amazing women over the last two years. Each nominee has made a superb contribution during the pandemic and we truly wish that we could have celebrated them all as winners.  

“Since being appointed CEO of WISE in the height of the pandemic, I have been so impressed by the tenacity, excellence and vision demonstrated by so many women in STEM, and none more so than those recognised last night. We want to personally thank each of them for the contributions they have made to our society.”  

Dame Sue Hill DBE, Chief Scientific Officer for England and Lead Ambassador at WISE, commented: “These women have made an astounding impact during the pandemic, going above and beyond to help keep our population and communities safe during a truly challenging time. 

“As an ambassador for WISE, I am continuously amazed at the achievements of the women we represent, and hope that these awards will go some small way in demonstrating our gratitude for their efforts.” 

CUHA22: The Winners 

WISE Tech Award (sponsored by Pfizer)  

WINNER: Dr. Amy Thomas, research associate at the University of Bristol won the Tech Award for designing and validating a saliva spit test after identifying early into the pandemic that the widely used swab test was unsuitable for children. Read more >>  

WISE New Educator Award (sponsored by PA Consulting) 

WINNER: Dr. Anna Young, lecturer in mechanical engineering at the University of Bath won the WISE New Educator award, for the role she played in ensuring that over 1,200 mechanical engineering undergraduates were able to receive high-quality education and pastoral support during Bath University’s transition to blended learning. Read more >>  

WISE Responsive Hero Award (sponsored by AWE) 

WINNER: Fiona Bennington, product design engineer and head of entrepreneurship and growth at Catalyst in Belfast, won the Responsive Hero award for establishing a cross-border consortium of companies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to distribute PPE to frontline workers during the first wave of the pandemic. Read more >>   

WISE Data Solution award (sponsored by IQVIA) 

WINNER: Ming Tang, Interim Chief Data and Analytics Officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement won the Data Solution award for the creation of the Covid Data Store, which used AI to ensure that critical care staff, PPE and medications were being placed in the right locations at the right time.  Read more >>  

WISE Community Champion Award (sponsored by NHS) 

WINNER: Susan McDonald, Energy Lead at Deloitte and winner of the Community Champion Award for her work ensuring that at-home Covid testing was available to everyone. She also spearheaded accessibility for ethnic minority groups, blind and partially sighted people, as well as those shielding or self-isolating. Read more >>  

WISE  D&I award (sponsored by Hyper Recruitment Solutions) 

WINNER: Tolulope Oke, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Customer Engagement Leader at Amazon Web Services, won the D&I award for her work relaunching Amazon’s Europe, Middle East and Asia Inclusion Ambassador Programme. This created a network of over 1,400 diversity and inclusion ambassadors within 28 countries to provide additional support during the pandemic. Read more >>