Vector Aerospace employee Katie Gray named UK's Technician of the Year
Katie Gray, a Technical Supervisor at Vector Aerospace Component Services in Almondbank, Perth, beat off strong competition to win the UK Technician of the Year award at the 2017 Semta Skills Awards.
Semta, the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK's most advanced sectors.
Katie (above) is the first Vector representative to be short-listed for this award, which was sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Katie was up for consideration against technicians from a range of well-known UK engineering and manufacturing firms.
On receiving her accolade, Katie remarked: “I didn’t expect to win this award – there were so many amazing engineers in this category. I have always tried to make sure I am out there promoting engineering as a career to young people. It is a career for life.”
An ex-Almondbank apprentice herself, Katie has mentored numerous apprentices during their training within her approved technical disciplines. Katie volunteered to join the ‘Apprentice Support Group’ within Vector Aerospace Almondbank, and also volunteers at STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) events, working with schoolchildren in engineering-related activities. Her desire to learn and to help others do so really sets her apart.
Katie has been heavily involved with Vector’s continuous improvement initiatives, interacting with her team to find leaner ways of working and reducing as much waste from processes as possible.
Vector recently won a contract to repair and overhaul dynamic components on the Airbus Ecureuil helicopter family, and Katie was selected as Technical Supervisor for the area, setting up the new capability. In this role, Katie was responsible for designing and organising the work area in an efficient and lean way, ensuring that it could meet customer demands and improving visual management.
Ray Doyle, Director Components commented: “Katie works at the heart of our business and is an example of the highly talented engineering expertise that Vector offers our customers. We are all incredibly proud of Katie’s achievements: she is talented, dedicated and a superb role model for others. Katie acknowledged that the support and assistance of her colleagues in the Vector team was a key factor in her success and is looking forward to supporting the next potential award winner.”
Ann Watson, CEO of Semta said: “Katie is a very deserving winner of the Semta Skills Award, and is an inspirational role model for others. Her drive and determination is commendable, not only in her consistently high performance at work but also in the way she promotes the engineering career path to others. She is exactly the sort of person we need to encourage more female engineers. If we are to achieve the 800,000 extra engineers we need by 2020, it is vital we have more young women like Katie in STEM careers to keep the skills talent pipeline flowing.”