'35 Under 35' in focus: The engineers are coming

The youngest-ever person on our '35 Under 35' list, 19-year-old Ruth Amos heads an invasion of engineers...

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Last Updated: 09 Jul 2013

Amos won the 2006 Young Engineer for Britain for her StairSteady stair-climbing invention – an idea that started as a GCSE coursework project and was officially launched last year while she was studying for her A-levels. The young inventor is now taking three years out to build up the business, and hopes to distribute the product abroad.

Impressive achievements for one so young, although Amos admits that her age has been as much of a hindrance as a help – for instance, she was refused business banking by the high street banks when she was getting the business off the ground. But her perseverance seems to have paid off. She’s now a keen promoter of enterprise to young people, as well as being an ambassador for women in engineering.

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At the cover shoot for the July issue of MT, Amos told us: ‘I’m in a male-dominated environment and for me, it’s all about being who I am and not even thinking that I have to dress like a man or that I have to act like a man.’

Amos is joined by Emily Cummins, another young inventor, now studying management and sustainability at Leeds University. The 22 year-old’s latest invention is an environmentally-friendly fridge that runs without using electricity, which she developed during her gap year in Africa. Cummins was named Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘Ultimate Save-The-Planet Pioneer’ at their women of the year awards 2008.

And the high-flying engineers don’t stop there. Zeena Farook, 27, is a geotechnical engineer at Arup. Currently on maternity leave with her second child, the Oxford graduate is one to watch. Then there’s 33-year-old Elspeth Finch who directs the healthcare arm and co-directs the transport division at Atkins, the UK’s largest engineering consultancy. A transport planner by background, she co-founded pedestrian modelling consultancy Intelligent Space when she was just 24.

This year’s list also includes aerospace engineer Bijal Thakore, who now runs her own engineering and business consultancy Big On Good, having worked at Lego as a client development officer. Thakore’s achievements are legion: she won the 2009 Women Engineering Society’s Young Engineer Award, is on the board of directors of The Planetary Society and has addressed the UN on ‘peaceful uses of outer space’. All by the age of 27. Fairly impressive, we thought...



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'35 Under 35' in focus: The engineers are coming

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