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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Amey Challenge Cup competition spikes interest in STEM careers


This year, Amey has once again hosted a series of competitions across the UK to inspire young female students to consider career opportunities in STEM subjects. Amey’s Challenge Cup is just one way it is looking to improve gender diversity within the engineering industry.


Since the Challenge Cup began in 2016, it’s grown from one school to reach 500 girls in 2023, and around 1000 since the initiative started. Amey invites offers female students in years eight and nine the opportunity to participate. The event is designed to show just how many roles are available within the technology and engineering sectors, and the students are tasked with planning, budgeting, managing risk, and presenting their ideas to a judging panel.


Timed around Women in Engineering Day, the Challenge cup Cup encourages participants to consider career opportunities they might not have previously thought about by looking at all aspects of an engineering project. Over the years, the challenge has also grown to explore sustainable construction practices, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and the importance of creating environmentally- friendly learning environments. By incorporating these concepts, the event also looks to inspire the next generation to prioritise sustainability in their careers.


Lisa Ingram, Head of Business Improvement at Amey, started and developed the Challenge Cup after seeing the lack of aspiration, opportunities and female role models during a visit to her daughter’s school. Lisa commented: “The Challenge Cup has grown to be one of the highlights of the Women @ Amey programme each year. I’ve been running the event for nine years and in that time, it’s grown from strength to strength, with people now reaching out to us to see when we’ll be holding the event and requesting to be involved.


“The feedback from the schools has been fantastic, we hear that the students enjoy themselves but also take away valuable learnings from the day. It’s a real team effort between our Amey network and the wider communities we work in, so well done to everyone involved. Bring on next year!”


National Highways Head of Scheme Delivery, Heather Lang, was on the judging panel during the event in Bristol. She said:


“It was a real pleasure to take part in this event and I was very impressed by some of the incredible ideas that were put forward and all the hard work that went into the pupils’ presentations.


We were definitely looking at, potentially, some of the leading engineers of our next generation.

“Events such as this are so important because they encourage young girls to look more closely at careers they might not previously considered. I hope they all had a great day and were inspired to think about a future in the technology or engineering sectors.”


At Amey we want to leave a positive legacy in the communities in which we operate. Amey’s Challenge Cup is free to enter and attend. To learn more about how your local schools can get involved, contact: lisa.ingram@amey.co.uk

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