AstraZeneca STEM Award winners announced

The winners of the AstraZeneca STEM Students of the Year Award were announced last night in Macclesfield.

Three Career Ready students were chosen as winners from nine finalists in science, technology and engineering categories.

The winners and runners up are:


  1. Jade Thomas, Paddington Academy
  2. Halimah Isbag, Luton Sixth Form College
  3. Adnan Mahmood, St John Fisher Academy


  1. Seena Desai, London Academy
  2. Maria Mehwish, Colchester Institute
  3. Katherine Harrap, Cardiff and Vale College 


  1. Callum Christie, Peterhead Academy
  2. Ansab Ahsan, Warwickshire College
  3. Johenny King Puente, Lambeth College

Winners receive an all-expenses paid trip to Geneva to visit the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. First runners up will receive an iPad and £150, and second runners up receive £150.  

Ian Nichol, National STEM Development Manager, said: “The AstraZeneca STEM award is a fantastic way to recognise students who have experienced a real transformation thanks to the Career Ready programme and to celebrate the potential future leaders of STEM industries.

“The STEM sectors are vitally important for the future success of our country. This is an incredible opportunity for our students to witness, first hand, scientific research that’s changing our perception of the world.”

The awards were judged by Anne Spackman, Chief Executive of Career Ready; Colin Bath, Oncology Operations Manager at AstraZeneca and  Olivia Whitlam, Corporate Citizenship Executive at Siemens.

The finalists were given the opportunity to present to the panel judges. The judges based their decisions on the quality and content of the presentation and how the finalists dealt with questions they were asked.

Seena Desai, winner in the Technology category, said: "There is a constant demand for specialists in various areas that together boost the competitiveness of our economy. Students that are part of STEM can be part of this dynamic world and make a valuable contribution towards it.

Without the Career Ready programme, my knowledge about technology would not be as strong as it is now. Without this experience I may not have been able to embark my journey on self-development and become Career Ready."

Callum Christie, winner in the Engineering category, said: "Before I joined the Career Ready programme I had little confidence and lacked self-belief.  I always relished the principles of physics, chemistry and mathematics and was interested in a career in engineering, but since this is such a diverse discipline I was unsure which branch to follow.  

"The invaluable advice and feedback received during my internship at Centrica gave me the courage and determination to pursue further education and a Mechanical Engineering degree. Career Ready has been life-changing for me."

Mustafa Mohamed, Callum's mentor, said: "It has been a fantastic few years getting to know Callum and see him grow and mature in so many ways.

“Career Ready has provided a fantastic platform and opportunity for Callum to become the man he is today. I am grateful to everyone involved in providing this truly life changing programme for both Callum and myself."

Thanks to the support of AstraZeneca, Career Ready runs 59 STEM programmes in schools and colleges across the UK. There are currently more than 800 students studying STEM subjects and taking the Career Ready programme. Of the 441 students graduating from the programme in 2015, 41 per cent  are girls. We are a signatory to the Your Life campaign to encourage more girls to take up STEM careers.