Student’s top engineering honour

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A St Helens student has been chosen as a finalist in a prestigious European engineering awards competition.

Zoe Francis, a construction project management undergraduate, has made the shortlist of the Best Young Woman Engineer category in the European Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards.

The 22-year-old, who is a trainee site civil engineer for Carillion, said: “It’s really surreal to know I’ve made the final but I’m over the moon.

“The support I’ve had from my family, my work colleagues and people at UCLan is amazing and I know they’re all very proud of me.”

Zoe, who is in the final year of her course, attends University of Central Lancashire’s Preston Campus one day a week to complete her studies.

She is also a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassador, who has attended a number of schools to promote women within the engineering industry.

She is currently working on the Manchester Smart Motorways project, which will reduce congestion and make journeys more reliable on the M60 and M62 using additional lanes and traffic monitoring technology.

Zoe, from St Helens, added: “I love my work. I’ve had a variety of roles and responsibilities since I joined Carillion full-time after my summer placement finished. I’ve worked in the health and safety department, then as part of the operations team within the earthworks and drainage team and now I’m part of the structures team as a site engineer.

“Combining this work with my University work is hard but it’s so enjoyable.”

The awards ceremony takes place at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London on May 19.