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Mechanical Engineering student Lauren Shea receives award in Queens Birthday Honours

26 July 2019

Lauren presenting to an audience.

Cardiff University Mechanical Engineering student Lauren Shea has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to Young People.

Lauren, who has just completed her first year of her engineering degree, has received the honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her role in promoting science, maths and engineering to young people.

Lauren became involved with TeenTech, an organisation which helps young people understand the opportunities in the science, technology and engineering industries, as a 14 year old schoolgirl. She is still continuing to inspire young people and is now working with TeenTech on projects with the Folkestone School for Girls.

While she was still at school, Lauren worked with children from 3 to 18 years old, inspiring them to become interested in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects (STEM). She also mentored students across Hungary, Finland and Spain in the TeenTech Awards, along with her friend Lucy, and in 2016 they received the BBC Radio 1 inaugural Make It Digital Teen Award for that project.

Lauren was an Arkwright Scholar and in 2017 she was named in the Telegraph as one of the Top Women in Engineering under 35. At the time she was the only schoolgirl on the list.

Lauren also became the first International TeenTech Ambassador and was presented with a TeenTech Gold Award by their patron HRH Duke of York, KG, at Buckingham Palace in 2017.

After undertaking work experience at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Lauren developed her own space lesson materials to run a workshop for local primary children.

When she discovered she had received her BEM award Lauren said: “I was very overwhelmed. It's an incredible feeling to be recognised for doing something that doesn't feel like a chore to me at all.”

Her advice to young people is to get involved with fun STEM projects and extra-curricular activities.

She said: “I never realized that I would be interested in engineering at all until I got involved with Teen Tech.”

The Head of School, Professor Sam Evans, said: “We would like to congratulate Lauren on her award and on the work that she is doing to show how exciting studying STEM subjects can be. It is very important that we get young people inspired about science and engineering as early as possible and we are proud that one of our own students is making such a difference.”

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