A 27-year-old woman has been named Britain's Young Woman Engineer of the Year for helping schools combat climate change.

Katy Deacon scooped the award ahead of hundreds of other applicants.

Miss Deacon works at Kirklees Council where she has done pioneering work in installing wind turbines and solar panel systems into schools and colleges.

She has also helped in creating a renewable-energy tool kit to help architects, engineers and developers make the best of renewable-energy technology in buildings.

The award, organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, is one of the most prestigious in the engineering industry.

Speaking from London's Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, Miss Deacon, of Cleckheaton, said: "It is absolutely fantastic, I cannot quite believe it.

"It is a real achievement, considering how many brilliant girls are here. It's difficult to say why I was chosen. I think I do quite exciting work and create good solutions for people on their buildings.

"Hopefully my winning this award can spread the message that we have a real need for engineers.

"It is not just girls but girls and boys we need, otherwise we are going to face a skills shortage."

Miss Deacon has worked at Kirklees for three and a half years and was previously employed by British Airways.

After working briefly with a Pudsey electronics firm she went on to join the Council.

Born and bred in Cleckheaton, she was put forward for the award by her managers at Kirklees Council in recognition of her work.

Rob McGill, chief executive of the Institute of Engineer-ing and Technology, said: "Katy has made some admirable achievements throughout her career. More needs to be done to demonstrate that engineering provides an excellent career choice, with many great opportunities."

Miss Deacon was presented with a £1,000 cheque and an engraved glass trophy.

e-mail: mark.casci @bradford.newsquest.co.uk

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