Top Award for PDL’s Elizabeth Waterman

Elizabeth’s no stranger to awards
BVAA ‘Future Leaders Programme’ alumna Elizabeth Waterman of PDL Solutions (Europe) Ltd was recently selected as being one of the ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering.’

This initiative is a collaboration between the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and other eminent Engineering bodies, in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph, and is aimed at women engineers under the age of 35.

The news of Elizabeth’s success was announced on Friday 23rd June 2017 at the associated awards dinner in London.

BVAA Director Rob Bartlett commented, “Elizabeth’s success is of no surprise to anyone who has had the pleasure of working with such a talented individual. Last year, Elizabeth was one of just 11 candidates chosen from thousands in the valve industry to trail-blaze our new ‘Future Leaders’ development initiative. Right from her first moments on the programme, it was immediately clear to me that she was a leader among leaders. Fiercely attentive and ever-ready with an incisive comment or query, Elizabeth soon became the ‘go to’ person for input into any activity.”

He continued, “Elizabeth is simply unawed by any topic, and with her Engineer’s brain she soon becomes conversant with the challenges and issues in nuanced valve engineering topics – some that were often far removed from her more normal field of work. Elizabeth is a born leader, always the first to volunteer, to organise the others in the group, and to lead by example. The BVAA Future Leaders programme owes much of its success to Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth (28) has a MEng (Hons) degree from Durham and is Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a member of the I.Mech.E. She is employed as a Senior Engineer at BVAA Member, PDL Solutions (Europe) Ltd.

PDL is a leading provider of advanced engineering and design analysis consultancy services for safety critical industries and mission critical projects. The valve industry is one of their key strategic areas of activity.

The company’s CEO Paul Charlton commented, “There’s good, there’s very good and then there’s exceptional. Elizabeth Waterman is exceptional and she exhibits that ‘unusually high degree of good quality’ in her engineering capability, her leadership and her promotion of engineering as a career and being the source of inspiration to others.”

He continued, “In the 5 years since she’s been at PDL, Elizabeth has pioneered the development of new advanced Finite Element Analysis (FEA) methodologies, successfully completed some 60 projects with a total value in excess of £1 million to clients across the globe and played a pivotal role in the development of our internal management systems. Her exceptional engineering capability has been recognised by the company, the IMechE, and by our customers in the form of a raft of testimonials and endorsements.”

Rob Bartlett added, “Via BVAA, Elizabeth recently completed a Level 3 Mentoring qualification, certified through the Institute of Leadership and Management. This was primarily for Elizabeth and her cohort to effectively mentor the new intake of BVAA future leaders, so over the course of the coming years, she could be instrumental in shaping the future of the UK valve industry. However, Elizabeth was also instrumental in the identifying and organising that extra course, which I think underlines still further her capabilities as a leader.”

Elizabeth is also a passionate advocate of engineering. Through her work as a STEM ambassador, The Arkwright Scholarship and the SUT+, she extols the virtues of engineering to school children, under graduates and post graduates alike. As a STEM ambassador, she has visited local schools to discuss careers in engineering and delivered a presentation to one hundred Year 9 and 10 students with the ultimate goal of increasing the uptake of physics and engineering with girls in the school.

The Arkwright Scholarship (www. is the most prestigious scholarship of its type in the UK; its remit is to inspire and nurture school-age students to be the country’s future leaders of the Engineering Profession. Elizabeth is an Arkwright Scholarship alumna (see elizabeth-waterman) in her own right and as Martin Thomas, the CEO of the Arkwright Scholarship states, she is now helping others to realise the benefits of such an award: “Elizabeth is an exemplar Arkwright Scholarship alumna. Not only is she progressing strongly in her own career, but she also takes the time to nurture the pipeline of future engineering talent through helping to interview the new candidates for the Arkwright Engineering Scholarships each year.”

The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) is a multidisciplinary learned society that brings together organisations and individuals with a common interest in underwater technology, ocean science and offshore engineering. Some branches of the SUT have sub-groups known as SUT+; their remit is to provide support and encouragement for young professionals in the society. In January 2016, Elizabeth set up the SUT+ group for the North of England SUT Branch and she has been their Chair ever since. The group currently comprises of 9 members with 6 local companies represented. They meet regularly to network and to arrange knowledge share initiatives such as company visits. Last September they organised a daylong event for 16-18 year olds to inform and inspire them into a career in engineering entitled “Engineering under the Waves.”

Elizabeth also plays a crucial role in mentoring other Developing Engineers as they progress through PDL’s Monitored Professional Developing Scheme (MPDS) on their quest to become Chartered Engineers in their own right.

*See for full details of the criteria.

Tel: +44 (0) 143 460 9473

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 42

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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