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Warwick Engineering Star wins Santander Award at Silverstone

Udokama Iwumeme winner WiE Santander 2019Warwick Engineering undergraduate, Udokama Iwumene, was awarded a prestigious Santander STEMship prize in July at the world-famous Silverstone racetrack.

Santander launched the programme (formerly known as Women in Engineering) to support and incentivise more women to embark on a career in the UK engineering industry and respond to the skills shortage challenge currently facing the country’s engineering sector. The awards took place at a special event at the UK racetrack, with an opportunity for the 30 recipients to meet driver Jensen Button, and Nikki Rimmington, Vice President and Chief Planning Officer at Aston Martin Lagonda.

Udokama, a Mechanical Engineering student at Warwick and alumna of Notre Dame Girls School in London, was highly motivated to consider a career in engineering when she won a Tedx competition designing a household device to encourage environmental sustainability. She is an active member of the Warwick branch of the Women’s Engineering Society, a School of Engineering student ambassador and an executive officer of Warwick’s anti-sexism society, as well as a cultural council member for MakeUK.

Udokama’s Santander STEMship award will provide her with financial support during her time at Warwick, membership of the national Women’s Engineering Society, a leadership development opportunity at an international institution, and mentoring and internship opportunities.

Udokama commented:

Winning this STEMship award has been an absolute dream. I cannot express how grateful I am to have been given this life-changing opportunity. The Santander Universities event at Silverstone was a day to remember; watching my peers test, modify and discuss their Formula 1 racing cars was inspiring - not to mention meeting the Jenson Button himself, who shared stories from his life experience. I'm so excited to embark on this new journey and make the most of each and every experience I encounter.

Dr Joanna Collingwood, Reader in Engineering at University of Warwick, Chair of the University’s Gender Taskforce, and lead for Warwick’s Women in Engineering Scholarship Programme, commented:

‘This award is a great opportunity for Udokama to accelerate development of her skills, experience and networks during her undergraduate studies at Warwick, as she works towards her ambition to be a professional engineer. It is also a wonderful way for Udokama to share the excitement of her journey with others who may not have considered this career path. As a university academic, and as a parent, I am thrilled to see someone so enthusiastic and passionate about STEM, and to see Udokama taking this opportunity to inspire the next generation of women engineers.’

16 August 2019


In 2017, a Report on the State of Engineering in the UK concluded that we still have an estimated annual skills shortfall of up to 60,000, meaning that we need to at least double the number of UK university engineering students in order to meet industry demands. According to a Women's Engineering Society’s WES Statistics, engineering is very important to the UK - it contributes 26% of our GDP or £127,580,000,000 to our economy.


Santander Universities

Santander, through Santander Universities, tops the list of Fortune 500 in investment in education (Source: Varkey Report/UNESCO). The Bank has established partnerships with over 1,200 universities in 20 countries, of which over 80 are in the UK. Through these agreements Santander promotes entrepreneurship, employability and internationalisation. For further information please visit: 

Santander Universities funds eleven of the Formula Student teams competing teams as part of its overall initiatives to inspire the next generation of engineers and encourage the study of STEM subjects. Since 2007, Santander Universities has invested £80m in supporting UK students and universities.


Tom Frew, Senior Press and Media Relations Manager – University of Warwick:

M: +44(0)7785433155