Winner of the Chancellor's Medal 2017 announced

Chancellor's MedalThe winner of the Chancellor’s Medal 2017 is Saheela Mohammed from Engineering Interdisciplinary Programmes Office.

The Chancellor’s Medal is being awarded to Saheela in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Faculty of Engineering, to the University of Sheffield and to the wider community of Sheffield, promoting Outreach and Widening Participation, supporting others towards a career in Bioengineering and acting as a role model and advocate of women in Engineering.

Saheela’s academic talent was recognised in her first year when she won the “Best Overall Solution Award” in the multi-disciplinary Global Engineering Challenge. Then in 2014 after stiff competition, she was selected as part of the inaugural cohort for the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy Scheme (SELA). This involved her undertaking a mixture of extracurricular activities, as well as a two year group project to design, fund, and deliver a skills-based residential weekend for the following year's cohort. Leading the Logistics Team in this project, she was instrumental in ensuring the smooth running and successful delivery of it, helping to drive forward SELA’s growth and further success. The project was a great success, with the cohort raising over £9000 from external sponsors and delivering a fantastic skills workshop - described by Dr Gary Wood, Head of USE as 'one of the finest examples of peer learning' he'd seen.

Saheela’s greatest achievement, however, has been in raising the profile of engineering as a career choice of women while inspiring the next generation. As Secretary, and then President of the Women in Engineering Student Society, she has been an inspirational figurehead, working tirelessly to address the gender imbalance of engineering. One of the ways that she did this was to lead the collaboration with two other student societies: Women in Engineering and Engineers without Borders to deliver 130 STEM outreach workshops to Year 8 students. Following the success of this event, the societies were invited to contribute at other large outreach events, such as the Medsin Conference Workshop and Science Alive.

As a Student Ambassador for the Bioengineering Department and Central Outreach Team, Saheela has revealed a talent and commitment to introducing Science and Engineering subjects to school children, in an exciting and accessible way. She has participated in numerous open days, primary and secondary outreach programmes, mentoring schemes and school specific STEM visits. She also played an important role in promoting the children’s engineering storybook, “Suzie and Ricky – The Crash Landing”, which introduces children and their families to engineering and was distributed free of charge to hundreds of primary children throughout South Yorkshire and the UK. The book was also the inspiration of the "Engineering Is" campaign that launched in November 2016 at Parliament. Saheela attended the event and was invited to sit in the panel with Vice President and Head of Faculty of Engineering Mike Hounslow, Director of Communications and External Relations Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, along with influential members of Parliament. The campaign launch was a great success and from this, she is now part of the evolved book sequel team to publish the next children's book in the series.

Saheela has immersed herself in multiple student society and volunteer programmes at the University, including holding leadership roles for the Bioengineering Society with Sheffield Volunteering, the Bioengineering Society, and Engineers Without Borders Sheffield. The hard work and dedication she has shown has culminated in the Women in Engineering Student Society being nominated and shortlisted for two awards, the “Academic Society of the Year” and “Best Society Volunteering Initiative”.
On behalf of Engineers and The University of Sheffield community, we thank Saheela for her hard work and dedication during her Master of Engineering studies at The University of Sheffield. Saheela is most definitely a worthy recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal 2017.