Published: 14 October 2020

Student awards celebrate entrepreneurship and diversity

Two students from our Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences have won awards for promoting entrepreneurship and diversity.

Hamza Chaudhry and Ana-Maria Tudorache are the first recipients of two newly launched prizes, celebrating the achievements of students in our Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS).


Hamza, who studied for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, won the award for entrepreneurship.

“I founded the Surrey Consulting Society in May 2019, to provide students with greater understanding and access to careers in consulting,” says Hamza. “The Society grew to more than 220 members, who’ve been able to develop transferable skillsets such as leadership and analytical skills.”

Highlights from the first year included a five-day workshop where attendees developed a strategy for global company Nielsen on rejuvenating a declining healthcare product, plus a talk on creativity from Jon Teckman, the former Chief Executive of the British Film Institute.

Elsewhere, invited speakers from Deloitte and Accenture discussed topics such as diversity in business.

Hamza adds: “Ultimately, we’ve helped Surrey become a more entrepreneurial university, increasing employability prospects for students and enhancing relationships with industry.”

Hamza recently started a new role at Amazon, where he manages a team to optimise operations, develop strategies and ensure the company adheres to relevant policies. The Society he founded continues to thrive.


Ana-Maria, who’s in the third year of her MEng in Biomedical Engineering, won her award for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in MechSoc, the society for mechanical engineering students.

“The award highlights the amazing work MechSoc has done during the past year,” says Ana-Maria. “It’s become the third biggest society on campus and, as its president, I was at the forefront of organising all its events.

“Alongside this, I took over the wellbeing aspect of our society, striving to promote positivity and inclusivity through our social media activity.

“MechSoc has been around for years. I was lucky to be twice elected as president and have the chance to work with an amazing team. One of my main aims is to keep everything gender neutral and constantly highlight equality in the field, fighting the silent stigma that ‘women don’t study engineering’.”

Promoting success 

Professor Esat Alpay, Faculty Associate Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, adds: “The strong technical and professional competencies of our students are well recognised, but I’m also amazed by the range of student-led activities that support cultural diversity, social responsibility, entrepreneurship and student wellbeing.

“The efforts of Hamza and Ana-Maria – and the teams around them – are great examples of the here-and-now impact of students in our Faculty.”

Find out more about our Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

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