AN OFFICER who has maintained the British Army’s Apache helicopters for combat in Afghanistan and Libya has been named Young Woman Engineer of the Year.
Aircraft engineering officer Captain Charlotte Joyce, of 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, at Wattisham Airfield, scooped the honour from the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
The 29-year-old, who was presented the award by TV presenter Myleene Klass at a ceremony in London, manages the day to day maintenance of Apaches at Wattisham and on operations.
Capt Joyce, who is from Formby, in Merseyside, said: “I was nominated by my line manager for the work I have done in the last 18 months on operations.
“I will act as an ambassador to promote women in engineering, visiting schools to inspire young women to think about engineering as a career.
“Historically, there have been barriers to women in engineering and a lack of positive role models.
“I’ve never faced any issues as a female engineer in the Army and a career in engineering has given me excellent opportunities.”
She served in Afghanistan in 2010 and on board HMS Ocean as part of a Nato operation to protect civilians in Libya this summer.
Capt Joyce added: “Afghanistan is very hot and sandy, whereas on HMS Ocean we had to deal with damp, cold and salty conditions and the confined spaces of a ship.
“But the aircraft is extremely robust and has been very successful at operating in these very different environments, and the technicians I manage are just as capable and well-trained to deal with whatever is asked of them.”
Lieutenant Colonel Jason Etherington, Commanding Officer of 4 Regt AAC, said: “The award is richly deserved and reflects the calibre of people employed in the military and the challenging work they carry out in demanding circumstances.”
Ben Rudd, head of communications at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “She’ll now go on to be a champion for all women who have become professional engineers and, even more importantly, she will be a fantastic example to young women.”