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Motorsport veteran named among ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering’

by Sam Smith
2 min read

One of the motorsport industry’s leading female technical figures has been named among the 2021 recipients of the “Top 50 Women in Engineering: Engineering Heroes” award.

The award celebrates women who have “made a significant contribution to helping their organisation, community or indeed the world functioning during the last year” and is judged by a panel of engineering industry experts. Included in the award was Dr Cristiana Pace, who received it today on International Women in Engineering Day.

The 2021 winners were published by The Guardian this morning and among them was Pace, who has worked for the FIA in Formula 1 and assisted Williams Advanced Engineering in Formula E over a 20 year career in and around motorsport.

Pace is also well-known in many motorsport paddocks as one of the leading figures at the intersection of sustainability and motorsport and is an ambassador for Susie Wolff’s Dare to be Different initiative, now FIA Girls On Track, which promotes and helps generate interest for girls in motorsport.

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“I am delighted to have been selected for the Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards,” said Pace.

“This year has been an unprecedented one highlighting many challenges in an ever-changing world.

“I hope that each great story behind the recipients of this award will inspire more people from diverse backgrounds to embrace an engineering career and be part of the solution to the many challenges.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant subject of much innovative work over the last 18 months and the 2021 WE50 say those recognised “personify the inventive and inclusive thinking needed to build a sustainable future” and that “if there was ever a time that we needed these heroes in engineering, it is now”.

Pace was instrumental in ‘The Oxford box’ – an airway management aerosol device that she designed and developed in conjunction with Oxford University Hospital, One Group Engineering and Alpine’s F1 team, to eliminate the spread of airborne particles and to protect both medical staff and patients.​​

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Through Pace’s Enovation Consultancy Ltd business the box was enabled to be medically approved for use across Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), the Oxford box is now available to the medical sector.

Head Judge of the award, Professor Catherine Noakes OBE CEng FIMechE FIHEEM, said that the last year had seen “remarkable times call for remarkable people”.

“That is why, in 2021, the Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards celebrate the engineering heroes who have responded to the challenges of an ever-changing world, from healthcare and climate change to infrastructure and championing diversity, with inspirational innovation and leadership. With over 230 nominations, only the exceptional made it to the top 50.

“The standard of nominations received was outstanding. It was wonderful to read about the achievements of these extraordinary women and the impact that they are making on society with their talent, hard work and dedication.”

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