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Congratulations to our 2020 Shining Stars!


Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by Openreach

Adam Morsman

The judges were unanimous in recognising Adams achievements and his commitment to making the most of his apprenticeship. The judges were impressed by the combination of clearly evidenced personal development, external commendations and recognition, but it hasn’t just been about his own progress, his obvious passion for sharing STEM based learning is inspirational and his dedication as a mentor to younger apprentices made him the stand out winner in this category

Mentor of the Year

Sponsored by Cisco

James Mellor

James stood out to the judges to be an exceptional and very committed mentor, to be an inspirational role model who challenges and encourages his mentees to excel. His genuine care and passion is evident through how he has opened doors through his network to create opportunities for his apprentices and gifted his personal time to support them through both their professional and personal lives. A well-deserved winner of the Mentor of the Year Award.

Christopher Mills Award

Kashif Rabbani

Kashif impressed the judges with his application of knowledge in creating a fully automated monitoring system, It was also great to see the part he plays in his wider team and to hear how his work has been showcased to thousands of visiting experts. Being able to identify a problem, then visualising and working through to a solution is certainly in the spirit of the Christopher Mills award and makes Kashif a very worthy winner

Woman in Technology

Carly Gray

The judges were impressed by Carly's initiative, courage, and ambition from the very start of her career at such a young age, in a traditionally male environment. Carly has applied her drive and experience to inspire, support and motivate the teams she has led, helping individual members develop, grow and succeed. She has demonstrated long-term excellence and the ability to drive a high engagement culture. She is an inspiration to women in the industry and is a very worthy winner of the Women in Technology award.

SME Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by GK Apprenticeships

Nathan Lee

Nathan stood out to the judges as an exceptional individual. His dedication, commitment and proactive approach impressed the judges. His leadership, mentoring and support for others at such an early stage in his career demonstrates his ability to go above and beyond. A well-deserved winner of SME apprentice of the year.

Engineer of the Year

Sponsored by Commhoist

Mo Zoualfaghari

With over 12 years of experience in the telecoms industry it was great to hear how Mo had identified a gap in the market for IoT and the process he had gone through to be first to maximise the opportunity it created. Having started from a stand-alone proof of concept to drawing in the right teams to support the development. Mo has applied his engineering skills across multiple projects and it’s great to recognise him as this year’s Engineer of the year

Innovator of the Year

Fadi El-Moussa

The judges were thoroughly impressed to hear how Dr. Fadi has led and delivered innovative technologies and research findings to address real world problems and provide safe, cost effective solutions to customers. It is great to recognise him as this year’s Innovator of the Year

Outstanding Contribution to an Individual’s Development

Julie Hyam

It was obvious to the judges that Julie has been instrumental in not just one, but many people’s development. Her commitment, passion and drive are impressive and she’s had an impact not only on the young individuals within the company, but also amongst the managers and leadership team to create a culture of support and development.

Graduate of the Year

Sponsored by Nokia

Amelia Winterburn

The judges were thoroughly impressed by the submission of Amelia which took a complex intricate subject and presented it in a clear concise way. She has presented a piece or work which is well structured, cogent and allows the subject to be accessible to all.

Outstanding Contribution to Industry

Dr Mike Short

Mike has, quite understandably, earned a huge reputation within the telecommunications industry, being recognised for his expertise and experience. Probably the most outstanding characteristic quoted by those who know him is his willingness to share his knowledge and views.

Mike’s 40 years career in electronics and telecommunications covers the early days of mobile services in the UK when he joined Cellnet from BT in the late 90’s. He was instrumental in the establishment of GSM and the new idea of texting. He was Chairman of the influential GSMA for 7 years, including chairing the first Mobile World Congress in 96. More recently, Mike was a co-founder of the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Sussex. During his distinguished career within the industry he held senior executive positions with Cellnet, O2 and Telefonica. In 2012 he was awarded the CBE for 25 years of contribution to the mobile industry and three years ago Mike joined the Department for International Trade as Chief Scientific Advisor.

An invaluable aspect of Mike’s broad-based support for the industry is his active involvement in higher education. Mike is a Visiting Professor at many universities and has been highly supportive of Masters programme. In addition to this appointment, and despite his prodigious work load, he has always made himself available to the students for one-to-one interviews to support their research projects. His expertise and vast experience in mobile developments and network operation is second to none.

Mike demonstrates his support of professional bodies through his keynote speaking at many conferences. He is a Fellow of the ITP, IET, BCS, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Geographical society.

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