The Igniting Sparks Award was founded to celebrate and encourage secondary school teachers who have particularly inspired women students to pursue university educations and careers, in engineering.


The deadline for nominations is 23rd June - which is also International Women in Engineering Day. Nominations should be submitted by email to Anna McCormick: a.mccormick@imperial.ac.uk


Igniting Sparks bannerDid you know women represent approximately only 1/5 of all engineering and technology students in the UK?*

* (Source: HESA 2018/19)

  • Did anyone in particular inspire you to go for it?
  • If it was a teacher, please tell us about them.  Write a one page statement, explaining how they inspired you and why you think they deserve the Igniting Sparks Award. 
  • The winning teacher will receive a framed certificate presented on Commemoration Day.  Travel and overnight accommodation expenses for the winner, and one other, to attend the Department prizegiving. 

How to nominate an inspirational school teacher

Nominators must be current women students of the EEE department, nominees can be any secondary school teacher (or recently retired teacher). Nominees may be from any country. Nominations should consist of a written statement (1/2 to 1 page is suggested) explaining how the nominee inspired the nominator, and why they deserve the award. Additional evidence may be supplied, for example statements from other former students of the nominee (these need not be Imperial students, or women), colleagues of the nominee, etc. Joint nominations may also be made.

Nominations will be assessed by a panel comprising three student members of the Women In Engineering society, three members of EEE staff, and the Head of Department as chair. All nominees will receive an acknowledgement letter from the Head of Department of their nomination.

The prize

The winner will receive a framed award certificate, suitable for display at their school, to be presented at the Department's Prizegiving event on Commemoration Day.

The winner will be offered travel and overnight accommodation for themselves and one guest to attend the Prizegiving. If funds are available, for example through sponsorship, or if the awardee can obtain support, they may also bring a selected number of their current female students to the college, where a programme of events will be organised for them.