Ten members of WESBath were given the opportunity to attend the WES Student Conference on 20th and 21st November at Aston University, Birmingham. This was a brilliant chance for us to meet inspiring engineers from industry and around 150 other female engineering students, as well as to stay in a lovely conference hotel and eat some great food!
On the first day, after an introduction and presentations by engineers from Dialog Semiconductor and Proctor & Gamble, the group split to attend two different panel sessions, on “Academia or Industry?” and electronics & materials, before a fun icebreaker session which focussed on psychology and ended with groups of students designing quick concentration experiments to do in the session. Later on we had a brilliant networking opportunity at dinner where the seating plan allowed students to interact with engineers from WES sponsors. We were lucky enough to listen to a captivating after dinner speech by Naomi Climer, President of the IET.
The second day began with a welcome back and presentations from the chair of the student WES committee at York University and two inspirational female engineers from Selex ES and BAE Systems. After refreshments, we took part in an interesting workshop run by a coaching expert on “6 Pillars of Career Success for Women in Engineering”. This was followed by a buffet lunch, after which an engineer on a graduate scheme at Selex ES presented “CVs and Interviews with Impact”.
The conference ended with a fascinating panel session on alternative engineering. Presenters from PolyPhotonix and Mars Petcare UK spoke about how they are involved in engineering that focusses on health and the environment.
I think everyone who attended the conference came away feeling inspired and excited about a future in engineering. I would definitely recommend it to any student that has the chance to go next year!
WESBath Students at the WES Conference 2015
We’ve got some really exciting news here at WESBath…
A couple of months ago during a committee meeting we decided that one of our priorities for the next year was going to be outreach activities. We were all really passionate about engaging with younger people, in particular younger girls, to encourage them to consider engineering. We decided the best way to achieve this would be to create four new committee positions so we could have a dedicated public engagement rep from each department.
We asked all of our members to put themselves forward if they were interested in the position. We then invited them to our committee meeting to tell us a bit about why they were interested in the role, and talk about any experience they have and any ideas they have for the role. The competition was tough but after an anonymous vote we decided on our reps.
Our new reps are:
Jemma Rowlandson from Chemical Engineering
Laura Grubb from Mechanical Engineering
Elisa-Jayne Barber from Electric and Electronic Engineering
Naomi Deering from Architecture and Civil Engineering
We can’t wait for them to get started and see what exciting things they’re going to come up with. Watch this space!
Thank you to everyone that attended the first two WES events of the year!
It was really encouraging to see so many of you in the seminar. I hope it provided a useful introduction to some of the committee members about what we do outside of WES. It was a lovely to hear your stories and how passionate you were to support women in engineering! Sorry to those, who had lectures and couldn’t attend 🙁
The Pub Quiz had a great turnout too – great to see a lot of familiar faces from the seminar earlier that day. Thank you for bringing all your friends along too! It was lovely to see everyone mingling
together- we hope it was a useful opportunity to get to know other members of the society. We managed to polish off 10 large pizzas- so I think it goes without saying that we enjoyed them!
Well done to the winners for the best team name (Windmills- I’m not a fan) and the highest scoring team! I hope you enjoyed your chocolate treats 🙂
See you at our next event!
Kristin and Dominique
Some of the WESBath Committee at the pub quiz
WESBath pub quiz
WESBath has been affiliated with the national Women’s Engineering Society (WES) for over a year now. It’s been great to have their support throughout the first year, with their president, Dawn Bonfield, attending our Christmas event and having them feature us in their official journal, The Woman Engineer. I was very excited when I was asked to be a member of WES council, both to learn more about WES and to be able to give something back to the society.
I attended my first meetings on Saturday 10th October. The day started with the council meeting. After some quick introductions it was straight down to business. Some of the things discussed that were relevant for the student groups were the timing of the WES student conference and setting up a network of student WES committees across different universities.
The council meeting was followed by lunch, which allowed for networking. After lunch the AGM kicked off. In the AGM, which is open to all members of WES, a presentation was given to current members of the society about what WES have been up to this year. After this new council members were elected and Benita Mehra was appointed as the new president of WES. The financial statement for the year was also presented.
Following the AGM, we were treated to a lecture from Henrietta Heald on WES founder Rachel Parsons. Rachel was the first president of the society from 1919 until 1921, and continued her engagement with the council for many years after this. It was great to hear about such an inspiring and forward-thinking woman!
In celebration of National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) I was invited, on behalf of WESBath, to attend a British Gas Panel Event to celebrate this magnificent anniversary and discuss all matters of importance that surround it.
On 23rd June 2015, at the King’s Road, London location, a panel of inspiration female engineers assembled to discuss the future of Women in Engineering as well as what can be done to promote Women Engineers in the future. The panel consisted of Claire Miles (Managing Director of British Gas Homecare), Nadia Abbas (British Gas Engineer and Success Coach), Dr Arti Agarwal (Professor from the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering at City University) and Dawn Bonfield (the President of our very own national Women’s Engineering Society) while the event was chaired by Dickson Ross (Editor of Engineering & Technology magazine).
For me, the event truly invigorated my motivation to promote engineering and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects to younger female students. The topics of the ‘Challenges and opportunities for women in engineering’ and ‘Why aren’t women engineers aren’t celebrated?’ were deliberated in depth (videos of the matters discussed can be found on the following YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1RSxqLw7W4Y6a5hw5h2ZkT5u9niRCvXI)
Issues that only women would encounter in the work place were a key feature of the discussions which I found incredible intriguing because, as a final year student, as I will be heading into the working world in a few short months! Issues such as retention of female engineers after they’ve started families, ‘flexible working programs’, how to get children interested in engineering as well as the cliché allegation that ‘women distract men’ in the workplace all need to be challenged and changed – but how? Now that’s the important task we all need to work together to achieve.
Many thoughts of the panellists concerning these themes have been summarised in a British Gas blog:
The future of engineering is bright; especially for females. As the concept of engineering grows and changes so do the skills and requirements of engineers. The future holds untold opportunities including the combination of humanities, technology, ethics and engineering as well as data analytics, robotics, artificial technology and green technology. To increase the exposure of young females to engineering, the status quo must be defied while teachers and parents alike must encourage all their children into careers in STEM subjects. They are the future.
The panellists all agreed that we, as a nation and engineering as an industry, needs more non-traditional routes into engineering and especially to recruit female engineers in different ways. Diversity is required in the breadth of ‘pipeline’ into engineering hence the industry must work with Universities and the Government to provide these routes. Finally, we need to create awareness of the amazing accomplishments engineers achieve, both publically and internally within companies, which in turn will attract more females. Engineers have the capacity to positively impact society which naturally appeals to females so the industry needs the support to overcome the underlying barriers that stop women from pursuing a career in engineering.
If you would like any more information about British Gas then have a look at their website.
Thank you for reading and I hope you feel as inspired as I was. #WESBath #NWED
On 23 June 2015, National Women's Enginering Day, we welcomed more than eighty Year 8 and 9 girls onto campus from Bath Community Academy, Oldfield School, Ralph Allen, Wellsway and Writhlington Schools. The girls participated in a morning programme of experiments, demonstrations and hands-on engineering experience with postgraduates and academics from the Faculty of Engineering and Design.
At lunchtime, career pathway talks were given by Dr Elies Dekoninck, Senior Lecturer from Mechanical Engineering, Dr Valeska Ting, Prize Fellow and Lecturer, from Chemical Engineering and Dr Jun Zang, Reader, from Architecture and Civil Engineering. The audience consisted of staff and students from this University.
Following the talks we had the announcement of the winners of a postgraduate poster competition. The prizes were presented by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Design, Professor Gary Hawley.
Talini Pinto Jayawardena, Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Carla Da Silva, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Kemi Lawal, Chemical Engineering
Chrysoula Papacharalampou, Mechanical Engineering Jemma Rowlandson, Chemical Engineering
The Student Women's Engineering Society at Bath hosted the Vanessa Boon free workshop, focussing on relevant areas to all women engineers.
Vanessa is an experienced and inspirational trainer in aiding people to unlock their full potential. She became the founder, Managing Director & Principal Consultant of her business, Energise, enlightening females in male-dominated environments to speak with confidence, be it in a lecture, business or even social situation. She aids both individuals and organisations to break down any barriers which may hold them back.
Vanessa was extremely engaging with her audience, involving every single person in the room and inspiring the female engineers to have their say. The workshop was accompanied by group activities in tables, to encourage the female engineers to chat with someone they had not met before, easing everyone into the workshop. There was a great turnout with females from all Bath Engineering disciplines such as Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and even Architecture. The workshop was then followed by a tea and coffee break and the chance to network with everyone in the workshop and further consolidate their new confidence skills!
“Don’t wait to be invited” was the message of the day when a group of female undergraduates and postgraduates in the Faculty of Engineering and Design took part in a confidence building and career boosting workshop delivered by WISE trainer Vanessa Boone, Founder MD of Energise, on Wednesday 25th February 2015. The workshop was energetic, fast moving and fun with the students working on interactive tasks designed to boost self confidence and give them practical experience of being proactive about raising their profile. How to be confident when speaking in public and the importance of networking were all covered during the afternoon session alongside how to be assertive, interview techniques and self promotion without cringing. The event included the opportunity for the group to practise their new found skills as the afternoon concluded with refreshments and time to network. Those attending praised the “energetic and helpful speaker”, and said they had found the event “inspiring”, “gave me lots of confidence” and that they would “use the tips to raise my profile”, “remind myself to be assertive”, “ set personal goals” and that “fear is not real”. This was the first training event organised by the WESBath student group. If you would like more information on future events and activities email email@example.com and visit the website at www.bath.ac.uk/engineering/women/society.
Winners of the first WESBath pub quiz
Say hello to the winners of the WES Bath pub quiz, which took place last Thursday!
We also had winners of the best and most creative team name: "Quiztillation Column".
The quiz started with a brilliant turn out and a great reception from engineering- related degree students (males and females), so the quiz was started on a high. The WES committee rallied together as team "WESards" along with 4 other teams. We were initially welcomed by some free pizza as part of the SU and all took our seats.
The quiz consisted of 5 different categories:
TV and Film
Literature and Arts
Logos and Pictures
all of which were compiled and created by our imaginative and wonderful WES committee.
The quiz also offered the opportunity for any of those interested, to get involved and join the committee.
The evening was ended with winners announced and some yummy prizes handed out. The quiz was a great success - thank you to all those who came!
So Thursday the 12th February will hold the first social event of the University of Bath Women's Engineering Society! This means free entry, free pizza and further prizes to be won for the team who wins and the team who come up with the best name (males and females welcome!)
The event opens at 6:30pm and the quiz starts at 7pm. The quiz will consist of different engineering related categories (for example movies or music), so be prepared to think that bit more around your degree discipline.
Members and friends welcome. Teams will be put together when you arrive to get a good mix of departments, so don't worry if you're coming by yourself! This is also a great opportunity for anyone interested in joining the WES committee to get involved and sign up for some really amazing opportunities.
So join our event on Facebook and share with anyone whom might be interested, look forward to seeing you there: https://www.facebook.com/events/759774864106150/?fref=ts