Computer Aided Design (CAD) Technician Courtney Harris has been named as the Young Digital Person of the Year at The Digital Awards 2017.
The former apprentice at Hull-based engineering company Spencer Group was named in the shortlist last month, and came out on top of a record-breaking field of entries to be celebrated as a leading light in the county’s burgeoning tech sector.
Citing her work in inspiring young people to work in technical fields, the judges “were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of entries. Courtney was up against some tough competition but the judges recognised that she was a role model for others who wanted to get into the world of digital/engineering and were impressed with Courtney’s amazing testimonials.”
The award recognises excellence in people aged under 25 in digital fields such as web development and software design, and represents the cutting edge of digital business in the region. Courtney has now added a second honour to her collection, having been named Apprentice of the Year at the Viking FM Cash for Kids Awards in 2016.
Courtney Harris, CAD Technician at Spencer Group, said: “It’s a huge honour to win this award with all of the great talent on show this year, and I’m really proud to be part of the great tech industry that’s building in the region.
“Working in the engineering sector has given me the chance to work on some really big and exciting projects and to watch something I’ve help design come to life, and I’d like to thank the Design team at Spencer Group for their help and support from my time as an apprentice to now.”
The awards, hosted by KCOM and the Hull Daily Mail, are designed to recognise start-ups and emerging talent in Hull and East Yorkshire’s digital tech community during and after the 2017 UK City of Culture year. Across eleven categories, the competition received a record number of entries from a range of firms across the spectrum of digital businesses.
Beginning her career as an apprentice straight out of sixth form in 2014, Courtney turned her enthusiasm and eye for detail to extremely complex design work in a traditionally male dominated industry. Following the rapid development of her design software and drafting skills, Courtney was soon helping to deliver some of Spencer Group’s biggest designs; including the £200m Energy Works project in Hull.
Since achieving promotion to CAD Technician and taking on more advanced work for the company, Courtney has become central to the work of the design department in future, at the forefront of plans to expand the company’s 3D design capabilities and streamline costs over a 5-year period. As well as the Energy Works project, Courtney has also input on rail projects in Reading and in nuclear energy.
Courtney has benefitted from the apprenticeship and mentoring programme at Spencer Group that took her on as a design apprentice from Hull Collegiate School. Whilst working at Spencer Group, Courtney has been able to complete her BTEC in General Engineering, and is working towards her NVQ and HNC in General Engineering.
Also successful on the night were Sauce, a Hull based web/mobile development agency who won the Best Mobile App award sponsored by Spencer. They won the award for their work on the Siemens MyTime, with judges praising their ‘rapid rise’ as a company.