With preparations underway for the Wales STEM Awards 2021, we couldn’t help but reflect on the incredible achievements of our 2020 winners.

Following the inaugural award ceremony last year, we caught up with the class of 2020 to share their stories with you.

Next up we have Cadarn Consulting Engineers who won the Innovation in Engineering Award for their setting up of a Research and Development Programme to maximise performance, efficiency and reliability, further reducing the environmental impact on their clients.

They are successful in helping companies in developing and solving solutions shaped on company processes, and are capable in finding, managing, sharing, and analysing internal and external information for technology innovation processes.

What does your company do?

Our company is a professional Civil and Engineering consultancy providing innovative solutions to everyday problems or situations.

Why did you enter the Wales STEM Awards?

We entered the Wales STEM awards to seek recitation for our innovative design approach and methodology.

What does winning a Wales STEM Awards mean for your business?

It is a huge achievement for us as a very young company to be recognised for our innovation in our business. It also gives recognition to all members of staff for their hard work and dedication.

What did you think of the virtual awards ceremony?

The ceremony was different, and well put together ensuring that we could celebrate, not only our award but all other categories in Wales STEM awards safety.

What’s been a challenge for your business during the last year and how did you overcome it?

Most certainly coronavirus has been one of the biggest challenges our business has faced. Cadarn had to adapt to ensure that we could continue to provide our professional service to our clients.

Coronavirus resulted in the need for our main office to shut and forced the need to invest in significant technological advances to facilitate remote working. It has since become a better way of working and communicating, not only between employees within the business, but with clients and external contracts.

What’s been a highlight for your business during the last year and why?

As a business, we’ve been very fortunate to have several highlights within the last 12 months. These include our very first engineering apprentices completing their educational route having undertaken HNC and eventually a degree qualification in Civil Engineering. Also winning the STEM awards Innovation in Engineering category is a huge accolade for our business and also fulfilling our growth plans as a business.

What are your goals for 2021?

Our business goals for 2021 is to continue our growth to increase our number of staff by 20% and our core business locations to being further afield than North Wales. Another objective for 2021 is to apply for, and hopefully, be lucky to win other awards in the Wales STEM awards 2021.

What, in your opinion, can be done to inspire more young people to pursue careers in STEM?

As a business, encouraging and promoting STEM is one of Cadarn’s core objectives. We actively do this by engaging with school and educations facilities to demonstrate the type of work we undertake in the STEM sector.

We also give the opportunities through work experience and through the undertaking of activities with the institution of Civil Engineers. Hopefully, this encourages the young engineers of tomorrow.

What or who is exciting you in the STEM sector in Wales?

It is an exciting prospect to consider the opportunities available, not only for our company but for the entire STEM sector, particularly in North Wales. With regards to proposed projects that are either within feasibility stages or developed design stages, such as offshore power generation, tidal power generation, nuclear power generation, and the developing and emerging technologies such as hydrogen generation.

What do you think could be done to help the STEM sector in Wales?

The STEM sector in Wales needs a future, and the only way to secure the future for STEM throughout the whole of Wales is to invest in the encouragement of today’s youths in the excitement of STEM.