Katie Protheroe, an engineer at North East business Osbit, has been named Young Employee of the Year, at a prestigious local awards ceremony in Hexham.
The award, organised by the Rotary Club of Hexham, is an opportunity for businesses across the North East to recognise exceptional employees under the age of 25. The winner must demonstrate a positive attitude to work and will have made an important contribution to their organisation and the local area.
Katie, who is aged 24, was nominated for the award for her outstanding efforts in leading the build of an innovative upending hinge system which will be used to help install offshore wind farm turbines across the world. The 1,400-tonne system, which stands at 15 metres high, was designed in the North East, by a team of Osbit’s engineers. As well as helping to design the system, Katie successfully led its build project out in Singapore, managing a team of 25 people and dealing directly with the client.
Osbit, which operates globally, is headquartered in Riding Mill and runs an assembly facility in Port of Blyth. The company specialises in designing and building tailored equipment to enable the construction of offshore wind farms.
Katie, who is from Whickham, joined the business in 2020 having completed her degree in Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University. Since then, Katie has progressed rapidly, working across a range of highly technical projects, as well as overseeing the Osbit STEM programme and engaging with local education providers to promote engineering as a career to young people.
Upon receiving the award, Katie comments: “It was a privilege to lead the build and commissioning of one of Osbit’s largest and most technically complex systems to date in Singapore and Rotterdam. It is again a privilege to have that work recognised by winning this award. I had the time of my life running the job and the team around me were extraordinary. The experience taught me invaluable lessons within my industry, but also within my own personal development. I am looking forward to continuing my career completing huge, world-first engineering projects within exceptional teams of people.”
At the award ceremony, which took place on 5th June at The Beaumont with sponsors The Reece Foundation and Hexham Town Council, Katie was presented with the Jack Charlton Trophy and £500 towards her personal development.
Osbit Joint Managing Director Brendon Hayward adds: “The Young Employee of the Year Award is a fantastic recognition of the hard work and dedication that Katie has not only demonstrated on this particular project, but throughout her time with Osbit, and we’re very proud of her.
“Supporting talented young people to rapidly develop in the way that Katie is, is very important to us and from the beginning, we have structured Osbit in a way that enables this to happen.
“Katie is one of the many incredibly talented young engineers growing with our company and her success is something which we want everyone at Osbit to have the opportunity to experience.
“We’re always on the lookout to expand our team with capable individuals and we’re currently recruiting for a number of roles across the business.”