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Technician of the Year 2017

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Katie’s technical ability shines through
Perth engineer wins Semta Skills Award

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Talented engineer Katie Gray has proven to be one of the best in Britain after picking up a prestigious engineering award.

The 26-year-old from, Perth in Scotland beat off strong competition to be named the UK's Technician of the Year, sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, at the Semta Skills Awards 2017 gala dinner in London's Hilton Hotel on Park Lane hosted by BBC presenter Alexander Armstrong.

Katie, a Technical Supervisor with Vector Aerospace Component Services based in Perth, said: "I didn't expect to win this award – there were so many amazing engineers in this category. I have always tried to make sure I am out there promoting engineering as a career to young people. It is a career for life."

Katie has mentored numerous apprentices during their training within the technical disciplines she is approved in. She also volunteers at STEM events, working with schoolchildren while they carry out activities relating to engineering and answers various questions they have.

Katie has been heavily involved with the continuous improvement initiatives at Vector Aerospace, encouraging fellow technicians to find leaner ways of working, trying to reduce as much waste from processes as possible. She also volunteered to join the 'Apprentice Support Group' within Vector Aerospace Almondbank.

The company won a contract to repair and overhaul the Airbus Ecureuil dynamic components and Katie was selected as Technical Supervisor for the area, setting up the new capability. She was responsible for designing and organising the work area in an efficient and lean way, ensuring it could meet customer demands and improve visual management.

Tom Hanratty, Part Repair Manager at Vector Aerospace Component Services said: “Katie is an ambassador for engineering and industry, her strength of character saw her lead a team of people older and more experienced than her from a very young age. Her desire to learn and help others to learn really sets her apart.”

Ann Watson, CEO of Semta, the not-for-profit organisation tasked with skilling engineering and manufacturing in the UK said: “Katie is a very deserving winner of the Semta Skills Award and is an inspirational role model for others.

“Her drive and determination is commendable, not only in her consistent high performance at work but in the way she promotes the engineering career path to others.

“She is exactly the sort of person we need to encourage more female engineers. If we are to achieve the 800,000 extra engineers we need by 2020 it is vital we have more young women like Katie in STEM careers to keep the skills talent pipeline flowing.

Hundreds of nominations from across the UK for the nine categories were received to leave 27 finalists battling it out in the prestigious Semta Skills Awards, judged by an expert employer panel.

Runners up were: Philip Booth, Greencore Prepared Meals and Leon Denton, Lockheed Martin UK

Watch a video of Katie at the awards:

 

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