ICE dame recognised in WES Top 50 Women in Engineering

This year’s list of inspiring female engineers as judged by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) includes 12 ICE members.

Dame Jo Da Silva features in this year
Dame Jo Da Silva features in this year's WES Top 50 Women in Engineering.

Dame Jo Da Silva, ICE Fellow, has been recognised as one of the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering 2021.

The director of international development at Arup is one of 12 ICE members who’ve made the list this year, the theme of which is ‘Engineering Heroes’.

The judges said that the standard of the nominations for the top 50 was “extremely high and is testament to the difference that female engineers are making in improving engineering in service of our society”.


Dame Jo was one of four members on the list who worked at Arup. The others were Dr Claire Bennett, senior geotechnical engineer at Arup Cardiff, Milly Hennayake, water engineer based in Leeds, and Julie Wood, leader of major complex projects at Arup in London. As well as being an ICE fellow, Wood is an ICE Council member.

"It’s great that WES is taking the time to recognise female engineers. It’s really important for young girls to be able to see other females following potential career paths," said Milly Hennayake.

"Hopefully this can help them imagine themselves as engineers, making a difference in the world around them.”

Mace was also represented, with Phoebe Baker, senior construction manager, and Hannah Vickers, chief of staff at the company, recognised in the rankings.

Inspirational women

By featuring in this year’s top 50, Jo Hartnell, quality engineer at Balfour Beatty, was able to add yet another achievement to her name this year. She was recently named ICE’s STEM ambassador of the year for her work inspiring young people to choose a career in engineering.

Other members on the list included Mimi Nwosu, package engineer at Sir Robert McAlpine, Era Shah, principal consultant at Costain Group, and Emma Kent, director of construction at Metropolitan Police and former ICE Council and Trustee Board member.

ICE Fellow Sue Threader, bridge expert and chief executive of the Rochester Bridge Trust, also made the list. In January, she featured as an expert contributor on the opening episode of Channel 5’s London’s Greatest Bridges.

Meanwhile, Jyoti Sehdev, senior engineer and group equality, diversity and inclusion lead at Costain, rounded off the list of members recognised by WES.

Earlier this year, Sehdev told ICE how LGBT representatives in the engineering industry had seen a worrying fall in LGBT membership activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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