Student of the Year nomination for University of Leicester engineer

A University of Leicester student is in the running for an award that showcases diverse role models in the world of engineering.

Third-year Engineering student Samiksha Raviraja has been nominated for Engineering Student of the Year 2023 in the Engineering Talent Awards.

The 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 Engineering Talent Awards 2023, powered by EqualEngineers celebrates 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, we can celebrate the diversity of organisations and engineers.

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.

Samiksha said: “In being nominated for this award, I feel seen, heard and recognised for all my hard work and difficult journey I’ve had to get to where I am today. This nomination means so much to me, and shows why the journey is worth it.

“I’m also super happy to be representing my university, as it was the first stepping stone towards all the successes I’ve had so far in the UK as an international student. It was the network of professors, academics and industry experts that were either teaching or around that really helped me! Not only did they support me when I faced obstacles, but they also saw my potential and recognised all the endeavours I’ve taken on. I’m truly very thankful and grateful.”

Professor Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Leicester, said: “Sam’s success as one of five students shortlisted for the IET’s national Engineering Talent Awards is yet another testament to the incredible talent and professional attitude our engineering students have.

“While this is the moment when we celebrate Sam’s success and we want to wish her all the best for the final, I need to also mention that her success is the third in a row for our students this year, including in the UAS Challenge organised by the IMechE and in the Formula Student competition. Engineering schools across the country are doing all they can to attract female talent into engineering, and the fact that these successes were built on strong leadership by our female students is to me personally the strongest possible testament that in our School of Engineering gender equality is at core of all what we do.”

Category winners of the Engineering Talent Awards 2023 will be announced at a ceremony taking place in London on 8 September along with the Overall Excellence in Engineering award.