Well done Maisie, what a fantastic achievement

Posted on: 11th, July 2017 in: General,

A Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Chester has been celebrating winning the Telegraph STEM Award 2017 in the Energy category – a prize she received from  BBC presenter, and former ‘Young Engineer for Britain’, Steph McGovern, at a ceremony in London.

Maisie Snowdon, 21, from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire, joined the winners of five other categories at a finalists’ dinner. She reached the finals after impressing the judges with her dissertation project, which looked at harvesting the energy used by a falcon in flight. Maisie’s idea was inspired by the falconers at Chester Cathedral Falconry and the present poor battery life of the tracking devices used to monitor the birds of prey.

After being selected as the winning entrant in the Energy category, Maisie was invited to London to go head to head with the other category winners in a final round of judging. A video of each finalist talking about their project was shown before they were presented with their trophies by Steph McGovern, who also hosted the ceremony, Archie Bethel, Chief Executive of Babcock (which delivers bespoke engineering support in the marine, land, aviation and nuclear sectors), and Alan Tovey from The Telegraph. Steph also gave a talk about her career, as well as describing how The Telegraph is helping the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) industry.

Maisie, who was the only female to reach the finals, said: “Meeting Steph was amazing, she is one of my idols. She is such a strong individual who started off as an engineer too. She is a real inspiration to me. I’ve always been interested in the STEM industry and don’t understand why this is not seen as a more  attractive career choice for females. It was great to see a full team of female civil engineers competing in my category.”

After the overall winner was announced (Joe Gibson from the University of Strathclyde), there was the opportunity to network. Maisie said: “It was surreal to be part of the competition, because I never thought I would be shortlisted – never mind win my category! The event was amazing and a great opportunity to meet people. There were so many important people there, it was quite a daunting experience, but also very exciting.”

For more details about the Awards and the individual winners visit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/stem-awards/.

A video of Maisie describing her project can be found here: www.telegraph.co.uk/education/stem-awards/stem-hq/stem-awards-2017-winners-videos/

Maisie also won the Best Poster award at the national Energy Harvesting 2017 conference in Manchester. Dr Yu Jia, a Mechanical Engineering Lecturer who attended the conference, and who was also Maisie’s dissertation supervisor, said: “Maisie’s final year project on vibration energy harvesting on falcons has been an exemplary piece of work. Limited battery life has been a sticking point for the wireless tracking of birds of prey, and this project aims to enable a self-sustaining power source to address this. We are so proud that her work has received national recognition at the Energy Harvesting 2017 conference and the Telegraph STEM Awards 2017.”