24 June 2020
Founded by the Women's Engineering Society in 2016, the WE50 awards are a UK event linked to International Women in Engineering Day, an annual global celebration of women in engineering.
Congratulations to our Head of Engineering Sandra Šlihte for being selected as one of the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering 2020: Sustainability. The WE50 raises awareness of the skills shortage facing the industry, highlighting the huge discrepancy between the number of men vs. women currently in engineering professions. They aim to change perceptions, and encourage young women to consider engineering as a viable and rewarding career.
Sandra is well-known for driving innovation in the design of secondary and in-building heat networks. She has pushed the boundaries of fourth generation district heating principles and engineered lower temperatures across developments of up to 10,000 homes, making it possible to integrate fossil-free and zero-carbon heat sources into heating systems. The viability of lower-temperature heat networks greatly increases the extent to which we can reach zero carbon heating across the country.
Sandra has also optimised cooling techniques to draw on datacentres and other waste sources for low carbon heating. She is regularly invited to present on innovation in district heating and sought out by engineering firms and developers for her expertise.
Sandra and her team have set new standards in district heating, designing the UK’s largest installation of heat pumps serving over 6,000 homes and half a million square meters of commercial space in London.
As a ‘The Girls’ Network’ mentor, Sandra encourages young women and girls to pursue their ambition. She champions women in engineering and was an initial member of the ‘District Heating Divas’, a networking group behind the first-ever UK district heating event with only female speakers, ‘Connecting Women in District Heat’. The event focused on empowering more women to enter the discipline and the potential of district heating to abate climate change.
Vattenfall Heat UK actively encourages our team to join working groups and sponsor events to engage with other women in the industry, as well as mentoring girls getting their start learning STEM subjects to lead them onto an engineering pathway.Watch the video
Sandra champions bringing people and ideas together to solve problems and has brought engineers together from across Europe to share experience and expertise in zero-carbon energy systems through the Engineering for Fossil Fuel Free Future (E4F) conference and Vattenfall’s LowEx group. She encourages boarder knowledge sharing within Vattenfall and other international industry forums and actively participates in academia and is completing a PhD to develop zero carbon district heating scenarios for cities in Europe.
We're proud to have Sandra as a role model on our team of inspiring women engineers who truly transform the way we think and operate.
"This important initiative brings together experts from across society to help us reach carbon zero."
This month, we outline the UK’s goal for district heating, we meet Commercial Manager Chris Turner, and discuss how to support diversity and inclusion.