Movers & Shakers: Lynne McDonald of UK Power Networks named Engineer of the Year at Women in Construction Awards

UK Power Networks'� Lynne McDonald receiving her award from Christine Townley, executive director of

UK Power Networks'� Lynne McDonald receiving her award from Christine Townley, executive director of the Construction Youth Trust. - Credit: Archant

UK Power Networks’ Lynne McDonald has been named Engineer of the Year - Mechanical / Electrical in the prestigious Women in Construction Awards 2016.

The awards, in their tenth year, are a showcase for the brightest and best female achievers in the construction and built environment industries.

Innovation manager Lynne completed UK Power Networks’ engineering graduate scheme in 2011 after being sponsored through her MEng degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

Last year her achievements included leading seven projects to ensure electricity networks are kept in good condition while saving money for the industry and customers.

She also designed and implemented ‘energywise’, a pioneering £5million venture to advise and help Tower Hamlets residents struggling to pay their energy bills - to which more than 350 householders signed up.

She recently began representing UK Power Networks, which has a base in Ipswich, on the International Utility Working Group as the company’s technical lead, identifying developments which can be swiftly applied to network operators. Experts who supported her award nomination, praised her enthusiasm and creativity in an industry which is often characterised as conservative.

“There’s still a shortage of women working in my sector so I take any responsibility as a role model very seriously and support careers and school events,” she said. I enjoy debunking myths and stereotypes about engineering, by highlighting the variety and impact of the roles available.

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Lynne lives in Maida Vale, comes from Glasgow and now works in Southwark, London.

:: The chair of governors at Writtle College has been named a top social media user in a national competition run by Jisc, a not-for-profit digital solutions organisation for further, higher education and skills.

Julia Smith was announced as one of the most influential professionals in further education (FE) and skills for using social media to enhance learning and teaching in their organisation.

Julia (@tessmaths) has been the chair of the board of governors at Writtle, based at Chelmsford, since May 2015 and a governor since 2010. She is also a teacher trainer, maths specialist and maths author. She regularly tweets about both governance and maths issues.

Tom Mitchell, Jisc group social media manager, said: “We launched this initiative to capture and celebrate the countless examples of FE and skills professionals using social media to excellent effect, and to highlight their practice to inspire others.

“The wealth and quality of entries we received reflect the myriad ways that people in the sector are harnessing social media to deliver innovative learning experiences. Everyone in the top 50 should be commended for their work and I’d like to congratulation them all.”

To qualify for the list, entrants needed to fit a range of criteria, including showing how they had used social media to address a specific need or challenge, had a positive impact at the institution or on the wider community and overcome any barriers in learning, teaching or research.

The final line-up was then chosen by a panel of social media experts, including former principal education adviser and chair of the Government’s computing expert group, Bob Harrison, Times Educational Supplement’s further education editor, Stephen Exley, and James Clay and Sarah Knight from Jisc.

Julia said: “I am honoured to be recognised in this way simply for something I love to do. Being part of a vibrant Twitter education community has been the best form of professional development ever. Being a rabid tweeter, for me social media embraces and develops FE networks, develops my passion for maths education in particular, allows me to show off about Writtle College and it levels everyone. One minute I’m talking to a student, next to Mary Beard - Britain’s best-known classicist, or Geoff Petty - one of Britain’s leading experts on teaching methods. Twitter creates such great connections that it is tough to ignore.”

:: Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking is strengthening its support to small businesses in Essex with four new appointments.

Nick Adams and Nigel Steadman have joined the North and Mid Essex SME banking team as relationship managers. They will support local businesses with a turnover of between £1million and £25m in a range of sectors including retail, haulage and property.

Nigel brings 35 years of corporate banking experience to his new position, which will see him working with businesses in Colchester and Clacton, having originally joined Lloyds Bank in 1981.

Nick started his career at Lloyds Bank as a branch manager in 2008, and his new role will see him work closely with Chelmsford-based firms, providing tailored funding and guidance to help them meet their business growth aspirations.

The pair will work alongside newly appointed area directors Paul Sullivan, who oversees the North and Mid-Essex SME division, and Gerry Betts, who heads up the South Essex small and medium enterprise team team.

Steve Elsom, regional director for SME Banking in the East of England, said: “We’re committed to fostering the development of local businesses, and aiding their contribution to the economic recovery. The new team will play a key role in helping to create jobs, supporting innovation, and enabling firms throughout Essex to reach their full potential.”

:: A local entrepreneur from Ipswich has been shortlisted for an award.

Zoe Gibbs has made the shortlist for Entrepreneur of the Year at the Pitman Training’s SuperAchievers awards.

Zoe completed an apprenticeship at a local photographic studio and went on to gain a Licentiate (LMPA) qualification from the Master Photographers Association at the age of 18 before opening her own photography business,, in 2015.

For the first time this year, the public has been given a vote in the awards by allowing the employers, colleagues, friends and family of those in the running the chance to champion their nominee.

Centre manager at Ipswich Pitman Training, David Morley, said: “We’re delighted that we have a strong candidate from Ipswich in the running. SuperAchievers are showcased internationally and it’s really exciting to be flying the flag for Ipswich. These awards are not about people who are truly committed to learning, and development, people who overcome challenges to progress in their career - people who don’t give up. The stories across the categories are inspiring, and I hope the Ipswich community will be both motivated to vote for our local entry as they go up against others from around the world.”

:: A solicitor from Ipswich-based law firm Attwells has been shortlisted for a prestigious leadership award.

David Bullock was shortlisted in the category for ‘Best Leader’ in a new award scheme by the British Property Federation (BFP), which is the ‘Tomorrow’s Leadership’ awards.

The inaugural awards set up by the BFP will recognise four exceptional young professionals aged 35 and under from BPF member organisations.

There are four categories showcasing the best young industry ambassador, leader, customer service provider, and unsung hero in the real estate industry.

“I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award recognising leadership, especially in a scheme which is run by the British Property Foundation,” said David.

“It proves that being young doesn’t limit the possibilities for leadership and that age isn’t a barrier to progress.”

The winners will be announced and the awards presented at the inaugural BPF President’s Lunch on April 14.

:: Isobel Cooper and Rebecca Roberts, both from the rural, energy and projects team at Savills estate agents in Ipswich, have been promoted to associate.

Team head James Pearson said: “Rebecca passed her CAAV exams in 2015 and Isobel has become an associate of the RICS. In so doing they have demonstrated their ambition and dedication to the industry. I would like to congratulate them on their very well deserved promotion which further recognises them as being integral to the success of their division and the wider business.”