Association for Project Management (APM) showcased some of the best and brightest talent among career starters, educators and academics at the inaugural Festival of Education and Research Awards, where BAE Systems enjoyed a double win.
(left to right)
Bessie Ashton-Melia and
Courtesy BAE Systems
The virtual event, which took place on 21 October, saw awards presented in eight categories that celebrated the contribution of research and education to the project profession, including two awards for members of the BAE Systems team.
Bessie Ashton-Melia, project engineer, was named the winner in the Project Management Graduate of the Year. Bessie has been sponsored by BAE Systems and the Blackpool and Fylde College as a Project Management Degree Apprentice for the past five years. Through this programme, she has achieved a First Class Honours degree, completed her APM project management qualification and gained an extensive range of personal and technical skill experience across multiple contracts and locations.
In addition, BAE Systems' project management degree apprenticeship programme – a partnership initiative with Blackpool and the Fylde College – was declared the winner in the Project Management Developmental Programme of the Year category. The award was collected by Susie Kentell, project management skills coach (level 6 apprenticeship) and Dr Yash Kotak of Blackpool and The Fylde College. This apprenticeship programme, which has been running since 2007, is uniquely tailored to offer a combination of industry-based placements and academic learning to develop the world class skills that are required to be a project management professional.
Bessie said: “Trying to balance working full time, a degree and other personal challenges over the past five years has been tough, however being recognised for my hard work and winning this award makes it all worthwhile. It has truly inspired me to continue my commitments to my education and professional development.”
Susie added: “It’s fantastic to have won. When I look at the other finalists, they’re a stellar bunch. It’s really nice to have won among such a set of people.”
Another winner on the night was Andy Smith of Blackpool and The Fylde College, who was named Project Management Lecturer of the Year. Andy worked in partnership with BAE Systems to co-create a world-class project management degree programme.
Debbie Dore, chief executive of APM, said: “The event shines a light on APM’s ongoing commitment to the crucial role of education and research in the project profession. These awards recognise new talent, as well as research excellence, and the contribution of academics to the development of the profession. I would like to congratulate Bessie, Susie, Andy and all the winners and finalists for their outstanding achievements.”
Other winners included:
Project Management Apprentice of the Year – James Pearce, project controller (Product Development & Technology) at Rolls Royce PLC
Project Management Student of the Year – Emma Huckerby, Leeds Beckett University
Project Management Postgraduate of the year – Giorgio Forlini, University of Westminster/Inside Ideas Group
Project Management PhD Doctoral of the Year – Dr Katherine Bloomfield, University of Hull
Project Management Research Paper of the Year – Dr Johan Ninan, University College London