University student honoured with Overall Excellence in Engineering Award 2021 for work in space engineering and supporting the deaf community – Press Release


PRESS RELEASE Winners of the Engineering Talent Awards 2021

University student honoured with Overall Excellence in Engineering Award 2021 for work in space engineering and supporting the deaf community

Craig Orrock from Heriot-Watt University has been honoured with the Overall Excellence in Engineering Award 2021 for his work in the UK Students for the Exploration & Development of Space (UKSEDS) national student space society, and for his leadership in improving accessibility for the hearing impaired and deaf people.

Craig has taken his personal experience of a lifelong hidden disability, being profoundly deaf, and used it to positively influence change in the organisations he works with. He is an example to younger deaf people that any career path is open to them, and that deafness shouldn’t be seen as just a disability, but rather another aspect of their personality and who they are as a person.

The prestigious Award was presented at the Engineering Talent Awards 2021.

Organised by EqualEngineers, the Engineering Talent Awards winners were revealed at a gala awards dinner at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London Bridge on 9th September 2021 to celebrate the overall winners and 12 wider category winners.

Engineering stars of the present and future were joined by keynote speakers from SSE, headline sponsors of the awards, and the event partner the Royal Academy of Engineering to celebrate the diversity and talent of the engineering and technology profession.

The 12 category winners were chosen from 77 nominations from a wide array of engineering organisations, industries and geographical locations.

Engineering Talent Awards 2021 winners:

Engineering Apprentice of the Year

Elizabeth Barr, BAE Systems

Engineering Graduate of the Year

Mohammad Taher, Heathrow

Engineering Student of the Year

Craig Orrock, Heriot-Watt University

Engineer of the Year

Dr Larissa Suzuki, Google

Engineering Returner of the Year

Chitra Srinivasan, UKAEA

Executive Leader of the Year

Dr Anne Nortcliffe, Canterbury Christ Church University

Engineering Society of the Year

FemEng, University of Glasgow

Inclusion Programme of the Year

Inclusion Commitment, Energy & Utility Skills

Employee Network of the Year

Empower (Gender Balance) Network, Atkins

Innovation of the Year

Gerard Simpson, SSE Renewables

Small-Medium Enterprise of the Year


Large Employer of the Year


Overall Excellence in Engineering

Craig Orrock, Heriot-Watt University

Mark McBride-Wright, Founder & Managing Director of EqualEngineers said; “I’m extremely proud to be celebrating outstanding achievement in engineering and technology and recognising those who are making a huge impact in equality and diversity. I am excited that to hold the awards ceremony face-to-face to allow the business community to come together to celebrate the accomplishments of those shortlisted and the deserving winners of each category. They play a vital role in the success of our industry showing anyone from any background can be an engineer. Our future achievements will be built on the foundations we lay today.”

John Downes, Director of Engineering & Innovation, SSE Renewables commented; “Another year of outstanding entries. It’s clear to see the excellent achievements being made across the submissions, and I’m confident we can all learn from them to improve inclusion and diversity across the industry.”

Polly Williams, Head of Diversity and Inclusion of Royal Academy of Engineering says:

“We are pleased to be supporting these awards, which raise the profile of the work that organisations are doing to make engineering more inclusive and recognise and celebrate talented engineers promoting diversity in the profession. The Academy is a vocal supporter of efforts to make engineering more diverse as well as promoting an inclusive culture. These awards will highlight the aspects of our profession that make it a desirable place to work and thrive.”

And, we couldn’t have accomplished so much in our second year without our sponsors that we’re extremely proud to have worked with: SSE, our headline sponsor; Royal Academy of Engineering; McLaren Racing, principal partner, and category and event sponsors ECITB; Heathrow; MBDA; Recite Me; Rolls-Royce, The Institution of Engineering & Technology; and UKAEA.



Notes to editors

Further detail on specific categories is available on the event website:

To interview Mark McBride-Wright, Founder & Director of EqualEngineers contact him on [email protected]

@EqualEngineers @markmcbw


About EqualEngineers

EqualEngineers has established itself as a go-to organisation to support engineering organisations in equality, diversity and inclusion with a speciality on engaging the male-majority. The engineering sector lacks in diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups, which is proven to increase performance, growth and innovation, as well as improve health, safety and wellbeing. EqualEngineers provides a solution to this through training, consultancy, recruitment and events.

About SSE

SSE is one of the UK and Ireland’s largest energy companies and aims to be a leading provider of energy and related services in a low-carbon world. It is the leading developer, operator and owner of renewable energy infrastructure across the UK and Ireland and is also involved in the transmission of electricity in the north of Scotland and the distribution of electricity in the north of Scotland and central southern England.

About the Royal Academy of Engineering

As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession.

We have three strategic priorities:

• Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses

• Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge

• Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals. Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of EqualEngineers, on Thursday 9 September, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow