IET: Army officer receives prestigious engineering award for leadership in Afghanistan

An officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) has been recognised for her leadership and innovation during operations in Afghanistan.

Captain Pip Lines has been awarded the Churchill Medal, the premier prize awarded by the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) to recognise engineering achievement within the Armed Forces.  The award is for an individual or a small team for ‘achievement in engineering and technical advancement in support of military operations.

The medal is awarded jointly by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Royal Engineers (InstRE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE).  This year’s award was presented by Mrs Jenny Body OBE, President of the RAeS on behalf of all the PEIs.

Captain Lines was deployed as the Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Officer with the Kings Royal Hussars in Helmand Province.  She was in command of the Combined Force Lashkar Gah Light Aid Detachment (LAD).  The award was made for her delivery of unprecedented levels of engineering support for a diverse range of military vehicles, weapons and other military equipment employed across the Lashkar Gah District.

Mark Organ, IET Head of Membership, said: “During her time in command of the Combined Force Lashkar Gah Light Aid Detachment (LAD), Captain Lines developed an insightful plan to provide a high quality engineering support solution for the diverse range of fleet and equipment being used. As a result of her hard work and determination, the REME enjoyed unprecedented operational equipment availability.

“I am delighted that Captain Lines is the first REME officer and also the first female to win this award – she is a worthy recipient. I hope she will be an inspirational role model to other young females and highlight the exciting range of engineering careers in the Armed Forces.”

The Churchill Medal, named in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, was first awarded in 1952. Sir Winston, who expressed great enthusiasm for this award, reflected on the important contribution made by engineers of all disciplines to the military needs in the Second World War. The Churchill Medal was left un-awarded for a number of years, but re-instituted in 2011 at the request of the Churchill family. Given the background of the Medal and its association with the military, it was deemed appropriate to associate the Medal with the Armed Forces.


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