Consultancy and Engineering Awards: Sanna Shabir takes Apprentice of the Year prize

Sanna Shabir collects her award from ACE board member Graham Nicholson and Steph McGovern.

Sanna Shabir, a civil engineering technician apprentice at Atkins Global, has earned this year’s award for Apprentice of the Year due to her tireless work to overcome professional challenges while maintaining high marks in all units of her first year NVQ qualification. 

Having proved herself to be responsible and skilled within her first two months, Sanna was placed on the Al Habtoor Dubai Polo Ranch project where she worked as a CAD technician. New to the world of engineering and computer-aided design software, this was a challenging project to not only ensure that engineering designs were sufficient for construction teams, but also to work with international stakeholders and ten buildings with unique designs. Yet these challenges sharpened her skills through daily learning opportunities and a high level of pressure to meet tight deadlines. 

It cannot be forgotten that as a newcomer to the industry, not only did Sanna have to navigate working life but she also had to continue to submit college work and collect evidence for the NVQ portfolio. 

After this initial project success, Sanna worked on the Battersea Pressure Reduction Station where she was able to apply her refined skills to a new set of challenges, working with her team to overcome hurdles and successfully deliver her objectives.Over the past year she has also worked on several projects for Crossrail and Old Oak Common, including serving as a CAD draughtsman on the Old Oak Common Depot project. While she initially served in a structural engineering team, she has challenged herself to also produce civil utilities drawings.

Sanna regularly engages in a range of activities geared to encouraging others to pursue apprenticeships in STEM subjects. Feeling that it is important for her to play her part in helping to overcome the widening skills gap, she has become an Atkins apprentice ambassador, a buddy to an apprentice in first year, a STEM ambassador as well as a committee member for the Atkins London STEM committee hub. From east London, she is keen for Pathways to Engineering to be a great success, participating in the launch by delivering a speech with the chairman of Atkins and mayor of London in front of 200+ industry leaders.

Judges’ comments
"Sanna’s ability to exceed expectations was clear when she was successful as a CAD technicial on an international project early on in her apprenticeship at Atkins. While doing this, she was able to maintain grades of distinction in all seven units of her first year NVQ qualifications and is now working towards becoming a chartered structural/civil engineer. Sanna is a clear star for the future, taking on a challenging project early on and successfully delivering results. All the while, maintaining an excellent standard within her first year NVQ qualification.”

Highly Commended – Laura Brown, CH2M
Having begun her career with CH2M in September of 2014, she has had a wide range of learning experiences, including the specialised maintenance of listed structures within her local area. She has been successful with her work on the West Midlands Highways Alliance Framework as part of the structure maintenance team looking after the bridges and structures within her home county, and has also had a lead role in the start-to-finish project success of a Grade 1 listed culvert rebuild. As well as all this, she continues to advocate for STEM and the importance of apprentices in addressing the skills gap.

Charlie-ann Forker (Atkins)
Lewis Wade (Atkins)
Matthew Fellows (Jacobs)
Sam O'Sullivan (Pell Frischmann)


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