Ambassador engineers a bright future

Zoe Francis
Zoe Francis
Have your say

A Preston student has been named as one of the top student enginners in Europe.

Zoe Francis, a construction project management undergraduate at the University of Central Lancashire has made the shortlist of the Best Young Woman Engineer category in the European Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards.

This is one of the most prestigious competititons of its kind.

Zoe, who is in the final year of her course, attends UCLan’s Preston Campus one day a week to complete her studies.

She is also a Science Technology Engineering and Maths ambassador, who has attended a number of schools to promote women in the engineering industry.

The 22-year-old trainee trainee site civil engineer for Carillion, said: “It’s really surreal to know I’ve made the final but I’m over the moon. The support I’ve had from my family, my work colleagues and people at UCLan is amazing and I know they’re all very proud of me.”

She is currently working on the Manchester Smart Motorways project, which aims to reduce congestion and make journeys more reliable on the M60 and M62 using additional lanes and traffic monitoring technology.

Zoe added: I love my work. I’ve had a variety of roles and responsibilities since I joined Carillion full-time after my summer placement finished.

I’ve worked in the health and safety department, then as part of the operations team within the earthworks and drainage team and now I’m part of the structures team as a site engineer.

“Combining this work with my University work is hard but it’s so enjoyable.”

John Ashton-Yamnikar, Course Leader in construction project management, said: “In being nominated for this prestigious award Zoe has demonstrated, in the best possible way, what can be achieved by a combination of ability, determination and endeavour. She has overcome many obstacles on her journey to become a finalist for ‘Best Young Woman Engineer of the Year’ and is a credit to herself, her family and her employer Carillion plc. The team is proud to say that she reflects the ethos of both this programme and the University.”

The awards ceremony takes place at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel, London on May 19.