Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Martlesham: BT Adastral Park researcher Vidhyalakshmi Karthikeyan honoured at First Women Awards

13:45 15 August 2014

BT researcher Vidhyalakshmi (Vidhya) Karthikeyan holding the First Women Awards engineering  trophy, with judge Karen Darby, left, chief executive of CrowdMission, Mark Hunt, president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, who presented the award, and Mishal Husain, right, BBC broadcaster and ceremony host.

BT researcher Vidhyalakshmi (Vidhya) Karthikeyan holding the First Women Awards engineering trophy, with judge Karen Darby, left, chief executive of CrowdMission, Mark Hunt, president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, who presented the award, and Mishal Husain, right, BBC broadcaster and ceremony host.

Erroll Jones

A senior researcher at BT’s Adastral Park complex has received a top national award after beating off competition from top engineers from around the UK.


The judges of the engineering prize in the 2014 First Women Awards decribed 26-year-old Vidhyalakshmi Karthikeyan’s life story as “inspiring and humbling”.

Vidhyalakshmi, known as Vidhya, learned to to overcome challenges from an early age, having moved with her family from India to Malaysia at the age of 12. She said: “I was enrolled in an international school and I had to start afresh. Coming from a traditional Indian background, it was a huge transition between educational systems.

“I sat a series of tests and I remember not knowing what the square-root of 36 was. Despite being considered a bright student, I was promptly placed in the lowest set for maths”.

Within six months of arriving, however, her academic ability shone through and she never looked back. She was subsequently the top International Baccalaureate student in the country and was offered numerous scholarships through university.

Eventually she completed an MSc in telecommunications at University College London before joining BT as a graduate. She has since become one of the company’s most prolific female inventors of the past decade, registering 16 patent applications relating to autonomic network management.

Vidhua said: “Telecommunications networks are fascinating. I want to embed future networks with intelligence so that they stand up to emerging usage trends and become easier to manage.”

She added: “I come from a cultural background where women are discouraged from pursuing careers in engineering. It has been crucial for me to be passionate about what I do and where it’s going in order to be successful at my career.

“There are significant opportunities for us to merge the gender gap in such male-dominated professions and I am keen to encourage other women to consider science and engineering as both an enjoyable and rewarding career.”

Adastral Park is BT’s global research hedquarters and Vidhya is a senior researcher within the group’s BT Technology, Service & Operations division.

The First Women Awards were created by the Confederation of British Industry and Real Business in association with Lloyds Banking Group to recognise inspirational female role models who have career achievements that represent “firsts” or breakthroughs.

The other shortlisted candidates for the egingeering award this year included Tracey Bleakly, chief executive if finance education charity pfeg, Jean Llewellyn, chief executive, National Skills Academy for Nuclear, Rachel Morfill, power system manager at National Grid, and Molly Stevens, professor of biomedical materials and regenerative medicine at Imperial College London.

Other categories in the awards included tourism andl leisure, manufacturing, finance, science and technology, media, retail and consumer, the built environment, public service and business services. A Lifetime Achievement award was also made, to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

New report on prosperity in seaside towns

New research has highlighted the importance of entrepreneurs in helping to revive seaside towns that have fallen into decline and unlock further potential in those already prospering.

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

A Suffolk MP has said he will do what he can to try and prevent a B&Q store closing down with the potential loss of around 100 jobs.

Helen Drage,  co-founder of Drage & Tozer Opticians.

Sudbury opticians firm Drage and Tozer, founded in 1995 by Helen Drage and Sandra Tozer, has celebrated 20 years in business by expanding into new premises.

Val Carrol, director of healthcare at Beckett Financial Services, receives the company’s Commendation at the Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts awards from comedian Tim Vine.

Bury St Edmunds-based Beckett Financial Services has been recognised by a national financial services publication for delivering outstanding levels of customer satisfaction to its healthcare clients.

Meadows Montessori School pupils Spencer, Luke and Ben, aka the Flower Pot Men, with The Apprentice 2014 winner Mark Wright who presented their trophy for winning the Best Community Engagement category of the Fiver Challenge Awards , supported by Virgin Money.

Pupils from the Meadows Montessori school in Ipswich have been named among the winners in the Fiver Challenge, run by the Young Enterprise programme.

From left, Michael Francis, store manager, Colchester, Robert Smith, dealer principle, Colchester and Norwich, and  Emmanuel Greffier, store manager, Norwich with the Bang & Olufsen UK Partner of the Year trophy.

The team at the Bang & Olufsen store in Colchester is celebrating after beating off competition from 60 other dealerships to be named as the audio equipment firm’s UK Partner of the Year.

Kelly-Anne Byres of Poppy Nursing and Care Services.
Picture: Stephen Waller

Five businesses and organisations from Suffolk and north Essex have been named among the finalists in the 2015 East of England Business Champions awards.

The Nestle Purina site in Sudbury

A Sudbury pet food factory is under increasing pressure to tackle foul odours as it is revealed an environmental regulator recorded 40 stench complaints since last month.

Ipswich Building Society general sales manager Jo Leah and her friend Libby Smith, also from Ipswich,preparing for their charity challenge involving a 100km trip down the Zambezi River.

A executive from Ipswich Building Society will today be starting a challenge to travel 100km along Africa’s Zambezi River in aid of a local charity.


Fairline testing facility at Ipswich.

The new owner of Fairline Boats has expressed confidence in the business, despite laying off more than 100 of its production staff.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages