A student from the University of Central Lancashire has collected first prize at this year's Women in Property National Student Awards.
Cara Henderson, who is starting the third year of a degree in quantity surveying and commercial management at UCLAN, won the 'Best of the Best' award at a dinner held at Claridge's in London.
In addition to her trophy, Henderson wins £700 plus a prize package which includes access to Women in Property's mentoring scheme, a year's membership of the association and support in finding a work placement.
The Women in Property National Student Awards were launched in 2007 with an aim to inspire young women studying a built environment degree course and raise awareness among employers of the quality and skills coming into the property and construction industry.
Henderson said: "It has been a really interesting and inspirational process for me, both in terms of pushing myself the extra mile and also in meeting the other students, all of whom have been so impressive. I'd like to say thank you to my tutor for having faith in me and to Women in Property for giving me this opportunity."
This year the awards were supported by the Homes & Communities Agency, construction firm Byrne Group, developer Argent, MCD Developments and Asset Skills.
A total of 42 universities put forward candidates for the top prize, which consisted of 68 students from across the country.
The awards are open to second year female students studying a built environment course, including planning, surveying, architecture and engineering.
All entrants were nominated by their universities and invited to present one piece of coursework to regional judging panels. The nine finalists were interviewed by a final panel on the morning of the Best of Best dinner, when the national winner was decided.
As one of the national judges, Lynette Lackey, Women in Property's national chairman, said: "Each year we aim to find the very best and each year it is a real challenge to single out our regional finalists, let alone the national winner, such is the quality of entrants coming forward. In our view, they are all winners."
The other eight finalists for the 2010 award included:
- Kimia Benam – studying architecture in the school of the built environment at Northumbria University
- Philomena England – studying architectural engineering and design management at Loughborough University
- Hilary Ennos – studying architecture at Dundee University
- Sara Hayball – studying architecture and planning at the University of the West of England, Bristol
- Rosie Lewis – studying architectural design at Edinburgh University
- Aanya Madhani – studying land economy at University of Cambridge
- Alexandra Redmond – studying building surveying at the University of Westminster
- Yvonne Wilday – studying city and regional planning at Cardiff University
The 2011 National Student Awards are already underway, with universities across the UK being invited to nominate their best second year students and third year students in Scotland.