Belfast software engineer Lauren Burns named IET Apprentice of the Year

Belfast software engineer Lauren Burns has been named the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Apprentice of the Year.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 6:00 am

The 23-year-old has recently graduated from her final year on the Kainos Earn as you Learn Apprenticeship scheme.

She currently works on large-scale government projects designed to improve the lives of millions living across the UK.

Lauren has been an active member of the tech community in Northern Ireland for the past five years and has built multiple educational programmes to achieve her goal of inspiring young people to enter the tech industry. In 2020 she won the Women Who Code global hackathon with a machine learning solution that predicts the likelihood that a patient admitted to hospital with Covid-19 would require admittance to the ICU. This system can help hospitals manage the supplies required to save critically ill patients.

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Lauren Burns

Lauren has recently co-founded the company Path Health App: a business founded to close the gender pain gap and help women suffering from chronic pain conditions get the diagnosis they deserve.

She said: “I’m absolutely speechless to have won such a wonderful award, particularly when there are so many apprentices doing incredible things across the UK. I will always look back on my time on the Kainos EAYL apprentice scheme as one of the most enjoyable and rewarding periods in my life, and this award really ties all those experiences together.

“For anyone reading this that’s considering the path less travelled, choosing an apprenticeship rather than a full-time university course has given me so many opportunities, invaluable lessons, and the confidence to (here comes the cheese) pursue dreams I never thought imaginable.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the IET, and everyone that has supported me over the last five years. I couldn’t have done it without you all.”

The IET Achievement Awards exist to recognise individuals from all over the world who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of engineering, technology and science in any sector. This can be through research and development in their respective technical field or through their leadership of an enterprise.

IET President, Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, added: “This is a fantastic achievement for Lauren who has made a big impact already so early on in her career. It is particularly inspiring that alongside her apprenticeship she is supporting other young people to encourage a greater uptake in STEM roles.

“The standard of this year’s entries made the judging extremely difficult. All the IET Apprentice Award finalists demonstrated skills and knowledge throughout their work that went far beyond their roles. They have taken on challenging tasks and through innovation and determination to succeed have brought real benefits to their companies - I wish everyone the best of luck for a long and fulfilling engineering career.”

The Apprentice and Technician Awards are part of the IET’s Achievement Awards and Scholarships programme, which this year provided £1million in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence and research in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians.