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BAE Systems ‘G-Eng’ team named as finalists in inaugural Maritime UK awards

Lauren, Sophie and Beth with HM Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Natalie Black

A team of engineers who worked to encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career have been named as one of the best in the UK’s £40bn maritime sector after being shortlisted in the first ever Maritime UK awards.

Sophie Dent, Lauren Eastburn and Beth Howarth-Henry worked with Girlguiding North West England to develop Clever Cogs, a badge which has now been completed by over 20,500 girls and young women across the UK since it was launched to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8th 2017.

Since then the trio have received the BAE Systems Chairman’s Gold Award , the company’s highest internal recognition for outstanding effort, and earlier this year travelled to Singapore to work with Girl Guides Singapore to launch a new engineering badge called She Solves. This included engineering and cyber security activities which were offered to 8,500 girl guides.

Beth Howarth-Henry said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted in the augural year of the awards. We started the project in the UK but the international appeal is clear and we’re now working on other projects which will see more badges offered.”

Lauren and Beth are based in Barrow while Sophie has recently taken up a new role at BAE Systems’ Air sector.

The awards ceremony, organised by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and Maritime UK – the group which promotes the maritime industry – is due to be held later this month.

Ben Murray, Director of Maritime UK, said: “Our judges have been blown away by the quality of entries in these inaugural awards. The bar really has been set high and the panel have had a difficult task whittling it down to the final shortlist. Those who have been named as finalists should be very proud.”

Stuart Baker, Head of Local Growth at the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Chair of the Maritime UK Regional Council, added: “We’ve always known the maritime industries are innovative, but these award submissions have really affirmed that. We’ve seen some really interesting work that’s taking place and we can’t wait to unveil the winners in September.”

The Maritime UK Awards are being hosted by the Solent LEP and will take place at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Southampton Grand Harbour on 19 September during the Southampton International Boat Show.