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2022 IOP Apprentice Award

Faye Taylor for contributing significantly to a collaborative safety interlock system for a prototype proton cancer therapy machine since joining the Science and Technology Facilities Council in 2017 as an electrical apprentice.

Since joining the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Faye Taylor has displayed an excellent attitude and enthusiastic approach to everything she does. She has worked on safety-critical and general electrical infrastructure within the international European Spallation Source project and contributed to the significant electrical infrastructure for the next-generation research and development particle accelerator owned by STFC.

Taylor is also very active in the delivery of a strong programme of public engagement in inspirational science through outreach activities, which contribute to sustaining the UK STEM skills pipeline. She is now an instrumentation technician within STFC's Accelerator Science and Technology Centre, supporting the group's accelerator services, and environmental and stabilisation systems.

Taylor chose the apprenticeship path after deciding that this was the best route into a scientific engineering role, while also providing her with the best hands-on learning opportunities. She has been able to appreciate the bigger picture of what her work contributes to, meaning that she has been better equipped to suggest improvements and future innovations to make her home department more effective. She has continually produced excellent quality work in all aspects of her apprenticeship; her academic performance was exemplary, achieving distinction grades in all units of her Level 3 BTEC and her HNC in Electrical & Electronic Engineering alongside her full-time role.

Taylor was the first engineering apprentice at Daresbury Laboratory to undertake an apprenticeship standard; demonstrating tenacity and personal responsibility in navigating her way through preparations for the end-point assessment, and working hard to forge links with other engineering apprentices from our sister site for shared learning.

Other apprentices within STFC see Taylor as a role model through her ability to push the limits of what you can achieve. Through her numerous outreach activities, she has helped to dispel the perceived barriers into engineering/STEM roles for young females, inspiring many other young women to apply. In her own words: "I feel engineering can be neglected at high school. It's an evolving industry with amazing opportunities; I feel responsible for getting involved to better educate young people about apprenticeships."

She also acts as a mentor, passing on her experience and knowledge to newer apprentices.

In 2019, Taylor was nominated for the GTA England Apprentice of the Year award, placing in the top five of 20,000 applicants. She also received North West Training Council's Apprentice of the Year award in 2018.

Taylor is an outstanding example of what an apprentice can achieve.