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Meet the judges for the 2017 WISE Awards

The WISE Awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts who represent our sponsor companies.

Please check the full nomination criteria and nominate yourself for a WISE Award.

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Abi Vocking

Talent Acquisition Manager for EMEA for Intel Corporation

Abi has over 20 years experience working in the field of HR, Strategic Sourcing and Talent Acquisition. Abi started her career in recruitment, followed by a move to HR which took her to live in Munich and then Prague working for a busy European start-up company.

Abi has been at Intel for over 10 years having initially joined as a commodity manager in the strategic sourcing team supporting temporary and permanent staffing suppliers globally. Abi then transitioned to support Intel’s IT services outsourcing companies and in that time was successful through leading the design of a transformational program to save Intel $25m over 3 years. For this initiative Abi was awarded Procurcon’s “Rising Star” award in 2014.

Abi recently moved into the Global Talent Acquisition team and currently manages a team of recruiters who support Intel’s hiring across EMEA. One of Abi’s key focuses is to take on the challenge of increasing the numbers of diverse hires Intel employs to make diverse hiring part of Intel’s DNA. Currently the work she has been doing on this has led to Intel hitting their diversity hiring targets for technical females for Intel’s software development and engineering fields in Europe.

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Megan Stowe

Procurement Director, Corporate Strategic Procurement and International Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager, Intel Corporation

Megan has been at Intel for 20 years working in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK during this time. She started in Sales and Marketing in Australia working in PR and events management and then moved to Hong Kong to start up their SMG site procurement in Asia During this time she has covered a variety of roles including Sales & Marketing, Travel, relocation, immigration & HR procurement areas. She has predominantly held Global positions, setting global procurement and Supply chain sustainability strategies, performance metrics and managing global teams (LAR, NA, APAC and EMEA) She has worked and lived in Asia Pacific (10 years) and EMEA (10 years). Currently, Megan looks across the indirect services/procurement supply chain working with the different verticals (sales & marketing, HR, travel, IT, Logistics etc) within the EMEA Region working with her team on implementing global strategies locally and driving local strategies where it is needed.In addition to this she is managing the International Supplier diversity& Inclusion program which has a key focus on Women owned business in our supply chain. The key objective of this program is to ensure we are working with an inclusive supply chain. With this initiative we are looking at and have achieved increasing our spending with women owned businesses in our supply chain across the globe at the tier 1 and 2 levels, while developing our pipeline of inclusive sourcing opportunities. Megan is a board member of the WeConnect International, along with the Chair & Director of the European WeConnect Advisory board and co-chairs the WISE Young Womens Board. She works closely with schools and universities ensuring STEM is promoted to girls. Megan’s passion is to promote the education and empowerment of Women and girls especially around the STEM and business areas.

She is Irish/Australian/South African by nationality and grew up in Africa. She graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with a MD Psychiatry/Sports medicine. Prior to Intel she worked for Warner Lambert Park Davis & Caltex Head office in Cape Town.

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Bethany Ross

Graduate Systems Engineer at Defence Missions Systems, Thales UK

Since graduating, with honours, from her master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Liverpool, she has worked for Thales as a Combat Systems Engineer. Although her degree and her role are in different engineering disciplines, there are constant opportunities to use the transferrable skills that she have gained. She is thoroughly enjoying the change in discipline and relish the opportunities to expand her knowledge of the Naval sector and engineering as a whole. She has attended several training courses during the 2 years she have been in industry, including Underwater Acoustics and Sonar Systems, Naval Combat Systems Engineering and Scrum Master training. These have furthered her knowledge of the complex systems associated with maritime operations and working effectively using agile practices to meet customer requirements. At Thales she is heavily involved with the Mine Warfare sector and the design process of the complex systems required in these dangerous scenarios. She has been part of key design decisions and have developed innovative solutions for use in the final delivery.

As a female Engineer, Bethany feels that she have a responsibility to engage young women with the engineering field by becoming a positive role model and being active in STEM and WISE events. She wholeheartedly believes in the work that these organisations are doing to encourage both boys and girls to study science related topics. She was lucky going through school as her A-Level Physics teacher inspired her to apply for Engineering; she is hoping to be able to do that now at all academic stages. she believes that this award and the activity to create a toy to promote engineering in schools will be a brilliant aid when delivering activities and presentations and will definitely further engagement.

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Rachel Welsh

Material Scientist - AWE

Rachel joined the company earlier this year as part of AWE’s graduate scheme after completing her BSc degree in Chemistry at Imperial College London. She is now part of the Organic Materials Development team working within Conventional Material Science.

Rachel’s first project at AWE was researching into the physical properties of resin potting materials used in fibre optics. Currently, she is working on the development of Additive Manufacture as an alternative method for the production of silicone pads. This involves discussions with a variety of groups on site, in particular production and engineering, and also with colleagues in the U.S. She has a second project concerned with Alternative Marking Paints and Inks.

Rachel is one of AWE’s graduate representatives and as such represents the growing graduate community at AWE. She organises events and seminars for the graduates and is passionate about helping develop the new FUSION graduate programme. Rachel is also part of the Outreach School’s Mentoring programme and is participating in this year’s AWE Team Challenge.

Rachel feels passionately about encouraging more women to pursue a career in Science and Engineering. She discovered a passion for science at school inspired by her excellent teachers and feels strongly about passing this enthusiasm onto others, particularly the younger generation. She believes the WISE awards are really valuable for motivating women in science and engineering and it is a great opportunity to inspire excellence.

Rachel is a keen sports woman. She has been swimming competitively from a young age. She has swam in regional and national competitions and currently swims for Reading Swimming Club.

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Paula Parker

Group Learning and Development Manager, Aveva

With over 20 years of L&D experience and a passion for developing talent Paula introduced the Apprentice Programme within AVEVA which has been recognised by the National Apprentice Service through the National Apprentice Awards. A regional finalist and winner in the Large Company Newcomer category and being named as a Top 100 Apprentice employer has led Paula to further develop the AVEVA Apprenticeship offering in the areas of Software and Cyber Security. An active supporter of girls in STEM through her work with local schools and colleges and as a recent speaker at the BCS event on the subject of DigiTech Apprenticeships enabled her to easily select this category of award for AVEVA to sponsor.

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Jo Stansfield

Deputy Head of Platform, AVEVA

After a few years of working for other companies as a Software Developer, I joined AVEVA in 2008 as a Senior Software Engineer. Throughout my career, my domain has been in information management, and I spent 8 years working as a Product Manager liaising with developers and customers before being promoted to Deputy Head of Platform.

Jo is a Deputy Head of Department, responsible for Interoperability capabilities of AVEVA’s software solutions for Integrated Engineering and Design, and Asset Information Management. She enjoys the challenge of delivering Enterprise Software meeting complex customer needs. An essential aspect she finds particularly stimulating is my work with people across many different roles, organisations and global locations.

During her career, she has worked both in Product Management and Software Engineering roles, specialising in software for science and engineering, particularly Information Management for industries including automotive, aerospace, oil & gas and shipbuilding.


She is a graduate of Cambridge University (Natural Sciences).

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Richard North

Head of Intellectual Property – Protection, Licensing & Control, Rolls-Royce

Richard North is Head of Intellectual Property – Protection, Licensing & Control for Rolls-Royce, with accountability for strategy, policy and execution of all aspects of intellectual property for the group. Richard leads a team of patent, trademark and licensing professionals.

Richard joined Rolls-Royce as an undergraduate 1983. He undertook a variety of engineering roles for before moving to his current position.

He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aston University and a MSc in Gas Turbine Engineering from Cranfield University.

Rolls-Royce is the UK’s leading filer of patents and 672 inventions were approved internally for patent filing in 2016. The famous Rolls-Royce trade mark is registered in more than 100 countries. Intellectual property is an essential ingredient of most commercial transactions whether IP-specific licensing and research partnerships, or supply agreements, joint ventures and investments/divestments.

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Graham Brown

Operations Director for Land and Air Systems, Thales UK

Graham Brown was appointed Director of Operations for Thales Land & Air Systems UK in July 2017. His responsibilities encompass all engineering, design, logistics and manufacturing activities across the four businesses and ten sites that comprise the country business unit.

Prior to this he was Head of Operations for the OME UK business and Operations Director for the Global Business Line, which has activities in seven countries.

His Thales career began as an engineering apprentice and stretches for more than 25 years. During this time he has held positions on a number of different Thales sites across the UK. He has a technical background in electronic and optical testing before progressing into his managerial career. To date he has occupied senior roles in Manufacturing Operations, Customer Services and Support, Business Integration and Programme Delivery. He holds an Honours degree in Physics with Technology Management and a Masters degree in Manufacturing Management.

Beside his Thales responsibilities, he also sits on the ADS Scotland Council, participates in the Glasgow Economic Leadership forum and is also a member of the Strathclyde DMEM Strategic Advisory Board. He is also the Chairperson of a local charity organisation in his home village.

Graham is married and lives in West Dunbartonshire with his wife and their two children. He lists his interests as music, golf, sport in general, with a specific love of football where he is an SFA Qualified coach for his son’s football team and also a very keen follower of Rangers.

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Stephanie Newman

Turbine Blade Integrated Project Team Lead, Rolls Royce

Stephanie joined Rolls-Royce in 2009 after graduating from Cambridge University with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering. She joined the Rolls-Royce Engineering Leadership Graduate Scheme which allowed her to do a variety of roles across engineering in a number of business sectors including 9 months in the Electrical Systems research group in Singapore. After completing her graduate training she moved to Montreal, Canada for 2 years to work in the Energy Gas Turbine sector before returning to the UK as Airframe Integration Manager for the Trent 1000 engine on the Boeing Dreamliner Aircraft. Last year she was selected for a secondment as the President of the Defence Business’s Technical Assistant. Through this she developed her business and leadership skills as well as leading the business transformation project for Defence. Throughout her career so far she has enjoyed combining engineering and technical skills with her talent for leading change and influencing diverse teams. In her spare time she enjoys many sports including tennis and playing the Double Bass with the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra. Stephanie has remained passionate for promoting diversity in the STEM pipeline inside and outside of work since leaving school. In particular she sat on the WISE Young Women’s Board 2015-2016. She is keen to promote STEM to all ages, and to particularly share her excitement for STEM with the next generation of Female engineers to encourage more girls to realise their dreams in science and engineering.

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Hannah Springall

Interconnects Design Department, MBDA

Hannah has worked in the engineering industry for 8 years undertaking various roles, experiences and opportunities. Her career started as a mechanical engineering apprentice at MBDA UK, spending 4 years completing further education, alongside 3 month rotational placements in different areas of the company. During her apprenticeship, Hannah played an important part in encouraging women into engineering through her interactions with students at various school events, being a STEM Ambassador and managing work experience placements within MBDA. More recently Hannah was interviewed for an article about diversity & inclusion with The Telegraph.

On the completion of her apprenticeship Hannah joined the Interconnects Design Department. During her time here, she built up her knowledge and experience by taking on every possible job that came her way.

Hannah has been heavily involved in the MBDA Apprenticeship Programme, since finishing her own apprenticeship. She acts as a mentor and role model for any apprentices who undertake a placement within her department, and has created training manuals for several placements within the Mechanical Engineering function.

At the beginning of this year, the Interconnects Design Department transferred to the Electronic Engineering function and with this a new challenge was presented to Hannah. After her success with the apprentices in her Mechanical Engineering Role, she was tasked with setting up a new Electrical and Electronics Apprenticeship – with the aim of developing multi-skilled engineers.

A particular highlight of her career has been working in Portsmouth on the New Type 45 Destroyers and Type 23 Frigates, involved with the Improvement and integration of the munition equipment. Alongside her day-to-day job role, Hannah is also involved in Research and Development projects within MBDA, working on finding and introducing new technologies and solutions into the company.

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Alison Atkinson

Director of Capital Projects, AWE

Alison is responsible for £2bn of Capital investment Portfolio that provides modern facilities and upgraded infrastructure for the AWE programme.


The Capital Projects programme is one of the largest and most complex in the UK defence industry with many of our new designs setting the blueprint for future nuclear structures. These are designed to provide AWE with the long-term future capability required to maintain our technical warhead programme.

Alison has over 25 years’ experience in establishing, leading and managing business organisations across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, defence, nuclear and maritime both in the UK and overseas. During the course of her career she has delivered complex and novel projects in highly regulated environments within a multifaceted and challenging customer base.

After graduating from Manchester University with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1991 Alison joined Halcrow Consulting Engineering (now CH2M) working on a number of diverse projects, including 3 years based at their Middle East office. Her main area was the delivery of maritime and coastal projects.

Alison joined AWE in 2005 and since then has worked across most aspects of the business. From 2007 to 2009 she was the business lead for capital projects before moving to infrastructure to lead a programme of investments across the estate until 2012. From 2013 Alison led aspects of the warhead programme, including post design services of the in-service system.

Alison is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the organisation and is the executive sponsor of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy which has developed from the Women in STEM initiative at AWE.

Alison lives in Berkshire with her husband and 3 children. Alison coaches hockey which her 3 children also play; she enjoys cooking, music, including playing the piano, and skiing.

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Andrew Randewich

AWE Chief scientist

After completing a PhD in plasma physics, he joined the company in 1997 in the High Altitude Nuclear Effects Team where he developed a novel capability to model Artificial (Nuclear Induced) Van Allen Belts. He also worked to improve AWE’s understanding of and capability in Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) phenomenology, and won the Discovery Award for Early Career Scientific Innovation.

Andrew later worked on thermonuclear burn modelling in support of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), and as a Team Leader for transport algorithms in the Computational Physics Group. Since then, Andrew spent two years managing the Physics Certification programme, and in 2009 moved to lead the High Performance Computing Group where he was involved in the procurement and installation of some of the largest computers in the UK. After 6 months as acting Head of Design Physics, Andrew was appointed Head of Plasma Physics in November 2011.
The Plasma Physics Department’s main role is using high power lasers to underwrite high energy density physics simulations. As part of the role, Andrew was Asset Manager for the ORION laser, one of the largest science capital investments in the UK. Andrew also managed several other science facilities such as the ASP neutron accelerator.
Also in 2011, Andrew became Head of Profession for Physics with responsibility for the Continuous Professional Development of all Physicists at AWE, and the company’s interactions with the Institute of Physics.
Andrew became AWE Chief Scientist in 2013 in which role he Assures AWE Science and Capability and leads the company’s Strategic External Outreach with Universities, Industry and OGDs. Andrew is a Chartered Physicist and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He was also appointed as a visiting Professor at Imperial College, London in April 2012.

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