Belinda Swain wins prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award

Published on: 10th December 2012

Belinda Swain, our Chief Airworthiness Engineer, has won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the WISE Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards.

The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) programme pays tribute to those who have shown significant success throughout their career in science and engineering and who through their work have inspired future generations of women to follow a similar path. Belinda was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, at a ceremony in London. Trudy Norris-Grey, Chair of WISE, said: "The Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards pay tribute to women who really stand out in
the STEM sector for their ground-breaking achievements. Belinda is a truly inspiring role model in a traditionally male-dominated sector."

Belinda joined our company in 1985 after studying Physics at Oxford University. Since joining the Group she's carried out a wide range of engineering roles in several disciplines. Early in her career she played a significant role in the team that developed the EJ200 engine for the Typhoon fighter jet and she went on to become Chief Engineer when the Typhoon went into service with four European Air Forces.

In her current role as Chief Airworthiness Engineer, Belinda and her team ensure our processes meet strict airworthiness regulations. She also works with the European aviation industry body, ASD, and the regulators and airlines to improve civil aviation safety and keep pace with new technology. Speaking about the work she does to encourage women to think about science and engineering, Belinda commented: "I want more women to realise the amazing breadth of opportunities available through science and engineering. In my career I have had the opportunity to work on some of the world's most advanced technology and would like to encourage more people to think about the possibilities that science, engineering and technology open up."
Anne-Marie Taylor, our Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, was delighted with the win.
"At the beginning of the event Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, spoke passionately about the fact that little progress is being made to increase female representation in science and engineering," said Anne-Marie. "She felt the issue was less about commitment from organisations and more about a lack of action in education. "It was so good to see she has a genuine passion for increasing the number of females studying STEM subjects," added Anne-Marie. Aside from Belinda, Kathy Ellis, General Manager for Nuclear Propulsion Systems and Liz Watson, Head of Product Safety Assurance, were also nominated from our company for this year's WISE Awards.