A ‘HUMBLED’ 27-year-old software engineer and computer scientist from Rugby has been named the youngest ever Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Chartered Engineer Dr Junade Ali is now believed to be the youngest ever Fellow of a professional engineering institution.
Despite having dropped out of secondary school and not having an undergraduate degree, Dr Ali studied for a Master’s degree aged 17 and was awarded Chartered Engineer status at 23.
And he continues to buck trends, with the average age of a newly-elected IET Fellow normally above 45.
Junade said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to receive this distinction. I never thought I would be able to reach the high bar of Fellowship, let alone be the IET’s youngest Fellow. I am truly grateful to the IET and the wider engineering community for supporting my professional development over my career.
“The engineering profession offers an unprecedented opportunity to shape the world for the better across a diverse range of different competencies. I am truly grateful for the opportunities the profession has given me to make an impact on the world and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a career in engineering to anyone interested.”
Dr Ali, who is originally from Rugby and now lives in Scotland, began studying for a Master’s degree aged 17, graduating with a distinction grade and winning his university’s Best Overall Masters award. Aged 23, he achieved the unprecedented achievement of becoming a Chartered Engineer, the terminal regulatory status for engineers in the UK. He later was awarded a PhD having focused his studies on cryptography.
Dr Ali is known for his work in cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research. To secure Fellowship, he demonstrated personal responsibility for significant technological innovation and independent contributions to original research that have resulted in international recognition.
These contributions include developing cybersecurity techniques adopted in products built by Apple and Google, developing software to help de-escalate cyberwarfare situations – including in relation to North Korea – and conducting research to reduce burnout among software engineers.
Colin Sellers, responsible for Fellowship at the IET, said: “As the highest category of IET membership for which you can apply, awarded to high achievers and respected professionals at the forefront of engineering and technology, it is exceptional that Junade has achieved this accolade so young – he is now our youngest IET Fellow on record.
“This is a fantastic achievement and shows the impact and commitment Junade has made in engineering and especially cyber security so early on in his career.
“He is a fantastic role model for young people who are undertaking engineering studies and shows that nothing is out of reach with hard work and determination. On behalf of the whole of the IET, and especially the great Fellowship community he is joining, I’d like to congratulate Junade on this prestigious achievement.”