Renia Gkountiou, an engineer and technician working on Aston University‘s Advanced Prototyping Facility project, has been named Female Innovator for 2023.
In her role, Gkountiou has helped small and medium-sized companies to use and further develop additive manufacturing techniques. During her more than two years in the APF project, which was set up by Aston University to raise awareness of the possibilities of 3D printing, she has already supported 75 companies. These have been able to make their existing designs more efficient and develop new prototypes and products.
Renia said: “Winning the award of Female Innovator of the Year at the Innovation Awards 2023 is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the dedication and hard work of the most incredible team in APF over the last two years. Innovation has always been at the heart of my career journey. We have leveraged 3D printing across a variety of projects in different sectors, spanning art, engineering and healthcare, all of which have yielded tangible benefits for society. These projects have involved the creation of novel product designs, prototypes and the development of materials in close collaboration with other departments at Aston University. The resulting designs and components not only exhibit improved efficiency but also cost-effectiveness, and an eco-friendly approach when contrasted with traditional manufacturing methods.”
In addition to Gkountiou, project director Professor David Webb and additive manufacturing engineer and designer William Utting were nominated for other awards. Aston University also became the second university in the UK to receive the Athena Swan Gold for its commitment to promoting women’s careers and supporting gender equality.
Professor Stephen Garrett, executive dean of the University’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “We are immensely proud of the accomplishments achieved by Renia, William and David in their respective nominated categories. These honours not only epitomise individual excellence but also represent the culture of innovation and collaboration that we are actively fostering within the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. As we eagerly anticipate the formal launch of Design Factory Birmingham, the role of the APF team in amplifying this culture is set to be invaluable.”
Renia Gkountiou’s award at the Innovation Awards 2023 highlights her notable contributions in the field of 3D printing and reflects the growing importance of this area in modern industry. Her work and that of the APF team at Aston University is a shining example of the impact that innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration can have on technological development and society.