University of Leicester student engineer ‘excels’ to score top awards

The outstanding achievements of an engineering student at the University of Leicester have been celebrated at a national awards ceremony, where they were recognised for Engineering Student of the Year and for Overall Excellence in Engineering. 

Samiksha Raviraja, in her third year of study at Leicester, received the accolades at the Engineering Talent Awards 2023. Powered by EqualEngineers, they celebrate the diversity of the engineering and technology profession. They aim to raise the profile of the engineering and technology professions across the UK and highlight diversity in engineering on a national platform. Through showcasing role models and inspiring people, they celebrate the diversity of organisations and engineers.

The Engineering Student of the Year category recognises the achievements and merit of a student, their proactive engagement with outreach work, as well as adversity that they had to overcome. The winner of the Overall Excellence in Engineering award represents an individual or organisation whose performance has significantly excelled across all the awards categories. They will have had significant and demonstrable impact on the area which they influence, and they represent best in class for advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in engineering.

Samiksha said: “I feel beyond honoured, shocked and ecstatic to receive these awards, considering the journey I’ve had and obstacles I’ve had to overcome. It feels like I’ve now been given a microphone to speak about my journey and share the things I’m learning as I move ahead in my career. 

“I have the opportunity to talk about things that need to be talked about, to try and change the way some things are done, and encourage a collaborative step towards building a community of people who are passionate, motivated and also bring fresh perspectives, challenging norms, and think differently. The only difference that matters is what skills, energy and ideas you can bring to the table.”  

During her time at Leicester, Samiksha has been involved in building a formula racing car with fellow Leicester students to compete in the Formula Student competition. She also led a team representing University of Leicester in the national UKSEDS Olympus Rover Trials where they were given a mission to design and build a rover to complete an obstacle course at Airbus MarsYard and a vibration test at RAL Space. Of the four University of Leicester students on the team, three of them landed a year in industry and one a graduate role, all at Airbus Defense and Space.

She began her journey at the University of Leicester by applying through Clearing, starting with a Foundation Year before progressing to an undergraduate degree course in Engineering.

For the past 13 months, she has been working as an intern in the Airbus innovations team across space and defence, where in an internal call for ideas, Sam led a proposal with an idea that has now been selected to be studied.