The inspirational finalists have been announced for the AFBE-UK Awards, which celebrate success in diversity and inclusion.

The event, which aims to recognise exceptional performance and outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the engineering sector, will be held on Thursday, November 23 at the P&J Live in Aberdeen.

The AFBE-UK Gala & Awards night celebrates the growing diversity of the engineering landscape and the contribution of companies and individuals to the industry.

More than 500 people are expected to attend the ceremony, where Graeme Gordon, VP of Production at bp will deliver the keynote speech.

Dr Ollie Folayan, co-chair of AFBE-UK Scotland, said: “We are very much looking forward to celebrating diversity and inclusion from the energy and engineering sectors at what promises to be our biggest ever Gala and Awards. There are some hugely inspirational stories to be shared on the night. Congratulations to all our finalists and to those who entered the awards – the standard was extremely high.”

The principal sponsor of the awards is bp, while the platinum sponsor is the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 team. Other sponsors include Wood plc; The Royal Air Force (RAF); Royal Academy of Engineering; Harbour Energy; Shell; Serica Energy; Leonardo; Petrofac; SSE; RS Components; ARUP; Kellas Midstream; WSP; EnQuest; the Institute of Engineering and Technology; The Institution of Civil Engineers; Engineering Construction Industry Training Board; Microsoft; Oceaneering; UK Power Networks, Net Zero Technology Centre, SLB, Subsea7 and MatchTech.

The finalists are:

STEM Champion of the Year, sponsored by Wood plc

Dr Margi Vilnay – Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering and Director of Public Engagement and Outreach for the School of Science and Engineering, University of Dundee

Isabella Mascarenhas – Vice President, Grass Roots Education & Social Impact, RS Group Plc

Dr Urenna Adegbotolu – NextGen Programme Co-ordinator, AFBE-UK

Young BME Professional of the Year, sponsored by Leonardo

Emmanuel Afolabi – Civil Engineer, Ramboll

Mohammad Taher – Aerodrome Systems Specialist, Heathrow Airport

Abi Tetteh – Engineering Manager, Hybrid Bill Technical Team, Bechtel Corporation

Mentor of the Year, sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering

Barry Nicol – Director, PMO - Eastern Hemisphere, Champion X

Morenike Amiaka – Technical Professional Leader – Safety, KBR

Sarah Pisitelli – Associate Director, Rail Stations, WSP (UK)

BME Leader of the Year, sponsored by the Royal Air Force

Tosha Nembhard – Programme Director - Aerospace Engineering, University of Leicester

Amitoj Singh – Operations Director, Ethical Power Connections

Stephen Fernandez – Director, Midlands Civil & Structural Leader, Arup

Company of the Year, sponsored by SSE plc

Bechtel Corporation

Niyo Group


There will also be a Special Appreciation Award, sponsored by RS Components, and recognition of AFBE-UK’s Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Harbour Energy.

Chrissie Clarke, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement at Wood, said: “In support of our commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, Wood is proud to partner with AFBE-UK and sponsor the STEM Champions of the Year Award.

“We believe by recognising and celebrating STEM champions they will act as role models and spark the interest and intrigue of the next generation of innovators, inventors and leaders to take up STEM subjects and join us as we design the future.”

Rachel Ruxton, Head of Inclusion and Diversity at aerospace engineering company Leonardo, said: “The AFBE-UK Awards are a celebration and acknowledgement of our diverse experiences and identities. These differences are what enrich us, since personal and professional growth can move forward when we draw on who we really are as individuals and the cultural influences which have shaped us to this point.

“This is particularly true in an engineering environment. The more diverse the teams, the greater the innovation achieved. We have so much opportunity available to us if we embrace fresh perspectives and new ways of seeing challenges. We are very encouraged by the emerging talent of our sector.”

Entries were open to all individuals and UK-registered companies within the engineering sectors. Bringing an unmatched level of recognition in front of industry peers, the awards provide companies and individuals with a springboard for growth, as well as inspiring the next generation and the industry to keep evolving.

The gala, which has been held every other year in Scotland since 2012, continues to be the premier networking event for business leaders, government officials, professionals and students of ethnic minority backgrounds, academia and organisations promoting diversity and STEM careers.

The event will begin with a networking reception, followed by multicultural entertainment.

Aberdeen-based AFBE-UK Scotland supports all young people, particularly those from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, with career aspirations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Over the years it has worked with thousands of pupils, students and graduates through online seminars and face-to-face events.

AFBE-UK Scotland provides mentoring programmes to support young people with their STEM careers. This includes its schools programme NextGen, where industry leaders and professionals give advice to pupils through entertaining events; Transition, where industry leaders help aspiring engineering professionals to enter the job market; and Real Projects, where industry professionals share their knowledge and expertise. 

For more information on AFBE-UK Scotland, visit:

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