London Eye designer from Belsize Park scoops prize in women awards

Jane Wernick (centre) at the First Women Awards with Gaynor Coley (left), managing director of The E

Jane Wernick (centre) at the First Women Awards with Gaynor Coley (left), managing director of The Eden Project, and Bev James (right) marketing director of COINS - Credit: Archant

The mastermind behind the design of the London Eye has won an award celebrating the achievements of women.

Jane Wernick, 59, who lives in Upper Park Road, Belsize Park, was honoured with a First Women Awards in the Built Environment category last Wednesday recognising her contribution to the field of structural engineering.

The ceremony was hosted by television presenter Claire Balding.

As well as leading the Millennium Wheel project in its initial stages, Ms Wernick founded her own award-winning practice, Jane Wernick Associates, in 1998.

She was also the first woman to be made an associate and associate director of prestigious engineering firm, Arup.

She said: “Only about five per cent of structural engineers are women and few of them are at director level, so it feels good to be recognised.

“One day we won’t need to have special awards for women.”