Engineering student, Lizzie Garside, has received the Environmental Awareness Award as part of the Future Industry Leaders’ competition, which is organised by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT).
The initiative recognises excellence across the EDT’s range of business and education programmes. Having received two awards in the South West regional competition, Lizzie (19) qualified for the national finals, where she was one of three award winners. She received her trophy at a special ceremony held at the Institution for Engineering and Technology in London on 7 September.
Lizzie joined the company to gain practical, hands-on engineering experience prior to studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor of Engineering with Honours) at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
A key contributor
Lizzie has played an important role in helping ECH Engineering diversify from its core refrigeration business, facilitating the development of new contracts in new industrial sectors. Following a secondment to Reading Buses, she so impressed the chief engineer that she became a mentor for the client’s apprentice programme.
Lizzie subsequently led the way in the development of a passenger monitoring system for this client, which has generated additional income and has opened the door for further projects with Reading Buses and other companies in this sector.
During her YINI placement with ECH Engineering, Lizzie has also made a tangible contribution to the company’s procedures and processes, including the specification of new data logging software, the development of 3D printing technology and embedding knowledge amongst colleagues, relating to refrigeration testing and standards.
“Lizzie is enthusiastic, keen to try her hand at anything and always wants to learn new skills. Her technical performance has been outstanding, but her ability to keep everyone calm and happy, even at times of extreme stress, has been priceless.
"Commercially, she is very astute, helping us to deliver a project in four months, which had a value equivalent to double our previous year’s turnover. Lizzie is a pleasure to work with and a massive support to our company.”
“My placement has given me the opportunity to develop and practice skills which will be invaluable in my career. I have enjoyed working on real projects with real business pressures where team work and planning were critical.
"For the Adande project the site was nearly 300 miles away, so I had to be sure to double check everything was loaded for each journey; with a 12 hour round trip we couldn’t just go back and collect things. Managing client expectations and contractors required clear communication and the ability to deal simultaneously with many different people with varying needs.”