Ford presents 2009 'WISE' prize to Zoe Burton
Filed under: News
Engineering student Zoe Burton is the seventh winner of the FORD WISE (Women Into Science and Engineering) prize, the annual award that recognises exceptional women studying engineering and promotes engineering as a career.
Zoe, who will graduate in mechanical engineering from the University of Durham in the summer, received her £1,000 prize from HRH Princess Anne at the WISE awards ceremony in London.
Ford and the WISE campaign make the annual award, which is backed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, to their chosen female engineering student. Zoe, 22, triumphed after a stringent selection process including interview by a panel of engineering professionals.
Ford executive director for powertrain engineering, Graham Hoare, said: "This year's award is especially significant as WISE celebrates its 25th anniversary. Ford is extremely proud of its involvement with this award. It is very inspiring to see the enthusiasm, focus and commitment of all prospective engineers applying for the Ford WISE prize."
Zoe Burton said: "To win the Ford WISE Prize was such a wonderful surprise. I am passionate about engineering, and to have my enthusiasm recognised in the form of such a prestigious award was a huge honour for me.
"I've loved motorsport for as long as I can remember, and to embark on a degree in engineering seemed the logic step to combine my hobby and a potential career. After several years of work experience and a gap year in Formula One, I can’t imagine committing my life to anything else. The academic and research staff at my university have been hugely supportive."
Other finalists were Elaine Cornell and Katherine Bexfield, both at Loughborough University. All three finalists will tour Ford's Dunton technical centre in Essex, the UK's largest automotive research and development facility which specialises in commercial vehicles, engines and transmissions.