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DPhil Systems Engineering student, Nadja Yang has been recognised as one of the UK's top 50 women engineers who are creating or significantly improving products or processes to make a difference in the world, on International Women in Engineering Day.

Portrait of Nadja Yang in grey/black workwear, pictured against an urban background

This year, the Women’s Engineering Society, in association with The Guardian and Ball Corporation, invited nominations for the list based on various criteria, including nominees' ability to support and combat climate change and to work as an advocate for women in STEM, and their drive to make a difference within the engineering industry and achieve beyond what would normally be expected.

The '2022 Top 50 Women in Engineering - Inventors and Innovators' (#WE50) awards were judged by a panel of industry experts. Head Judge, Dr Bola Olabisi, said: ‘‘We were amazed by the quality and diversity of nominations this year. Each one demonstrating capabilities of inspiring other women with their life changing contributions. We were delighted with their sheer determination and tenacity as innovators".

Nadja Yang is pursuing a DPhil in Systems Engineering at Oxford, where she conducts research on the urban bioeconomy, a concept for helping cities to become more sustainable and productive in terms of their biological resources.

As President of the European Young Engineers (EYE), an organisation that represents about 500,000 members, Nadja also supports young engineers across Europe to engage and broaden their horizons within fields such as: energy; water; the circular economy; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in politics; diversity within STEM; the future of work; and future skills. 

'I would never have imagined'

Commenting on her achievement in making the 'Top 50 Women in Engineering' list, Nadja said: "When I first encountered the #WE50 award, I would never have imagined that I would receive it this year. I thought it would be for more senior female engineers, when finding professors and senior managers on the previous #WE50 lists.

"That's why I am especially grateful to my colleague from EYE who nominated me. When I felt inadequate for the award, he believed in me. Moreover, I love the fact that he, as a male engineer, is so keen to empower women, which is still too rare in society.

"Receiving the #WE50 award encourages me and many others who are underrepresented in their field to keep going and not lose faith!"

The #WE50 awards will be presented on the afternoon of Friday 24 June, at an afternoon tea ceremony taking place at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.