The Young Member Visionary award is presented each year to an engineer who demonstrates all-round excellence both in engineering and in volunteering. The only engineer permanently employed by SS Great Britain, Nicola Grahamslaw, is this year’s winner.
“Through her professional involvement in multi-disciplinary work and her volunteering in a variety of environments, Nicola exemplifies what the prize is all about. She is a deserving winner of the Young Member Visionary award and a fantastic ambassador for the engineering profession,” a spokesperson for the Institution noted.
Grahamslaw, a chartered mechanical engineer by training, has been working as conservation engineer at the SS Great Britain Trust for just over a year – in a role newly created for her arrival. Within the organisation she is responsible for developing future conservation strategy for the ship and museum collection, while also assessing and optimising the current systems for both performance and carbon footprint reduction.
After picking up the prestigious prize, Grahamslaw said: “I am proud to call myself an engineer and find it really rewarding to be an ambassador for the profession. I’m very grateful to all of those who have supported me in my career so far and hope I can continue to pay that support forward inspiring and developing the next generation of engineers.”
Further to her aforementioned roles, the conservation engineer has collaborated with colleagues across the SS Great Britain Trust to secure funding for new instrumentation. To strengthen their case Grahamslaw produced analysis to demonstrate how better data could reduce the carbon footprint of the systems. She is now in the process of procuring this upgrade.
Readers from the wider heritage sector may well recognise the Young Member Visionary for 2019, given that she has delivered various speeches and lectures on her area of expertise in recent months. She is also launching an initiative to empower heritage organisations to reduce their carbon footprint through knowledge sharing.