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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
On 16th October 2014 two representatives from WES Bath, Mendy and myself, attended the Teen Tech event at the Bristol Pavillion. The aim of the event was to show teenagers the wide range of topics covered by the field of engineering, and explain where a career in engineering could lead them. The event was attended by a wide range of organisations, including Rolls-Royce and Airbus, each of whom performed interactive demonstrations to 300 senior school students from local schools. The wide range of participating organisations allowed for multiple engineering disciplines to be investigated by the students who gained a greater understanding of what engineering actually entails.
The WES Bath demonstration revolved around electrical engineering and involved an mbed circuit board that could play muscial tunes, make coloured led lights flash and display text on a small, lcd screen. We began the demonstration by asking the students if they could name any areas of engineering, and the majority of the answers we received were focussed around cars, engines and planes. We explained that engineering also covered areas including designing buildings and bridges, working with chemicals and designing wind turbines as examples.
The students appeared to enjoy our demonstration, and left our stand with a greater understanding of what engineering was and which school subjects were most important for a career involving engineering. They also appeared to be more comfortable with the concept of coding which was shown to be more straightforward than they had imagined. The WES Bath stand was very well received, and we were invited to return to demonstrate again at the following Teen Tech event in London.
Just wanted to share my experience at the November 2014 WES Conference with you all. As a recent recruit to the engineering field (my first degree is in Environmental Science), I was interested in joining the ‘community’ and making some contacts. The WES Conference was an excellent forum for this with many early / mid career engineers attending, and inspirational engineers speaking. The format of the event meant that Friday dinner gave me an excellent opportunity to mingle, and exchange LinkedIn contact details. So, as a networking opportunity, I would definitely recommend attending! However, although my main purpose was to make contacts, I actually came away from the Conference having gained a lot more than that. WES recognises that to become a ‘great engineer’ requires more than just engineering ability; you need to be able to communicate, think critically, and have confidence in your abilities and what you offer to a project or organisation. To support this, the Conference offered seminars by business leaders and management specialists that gave additional skills and challenged your way of thinking by providing new ideas and perspectives. In summary then: Was the WES Conference worth attending? Absolutely, I’ll be putting my name down for next year!
Jenny Cane, speaker at the 2014 WESBath Christmas lecture with the WESBath Committee
Ever wondered where your engineering future could take you?
The student Women's Engineering Society (WES) were honoured to host the first Whorrod Inspirational Engineering Christmas Event at the University of Bath, including a lecture delivered by the inspirational Jenny Cane. The WES committee owe many thanks and would not have formed without the amazing support of Roger and Sue Whorrod, whom also attended the event along with Sarah Stead and Irene Turner who coordinated the whole event, Dawn Bonfield, a University of Bath alumni who is the current President of the national Women’s Engineering Society, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Kevin Edge, the University Secretary Mr Mark Humphriss, the Dean of the Faculty of Design and Engineering Professor Gary Hawley and other senior members of academic staff. We initiated the event with a buffet lunch for our senior guests and then proceeded to the lecture theatre to listen to Jenny Cane's incredible life story. Jenny Cane has undoubtedly experienced a diverse and exciting career since her MEng in Aerospace Engineer at the University of Bath. Jenny then went on to study for a PhD in Aerodynamics & Heat Transfer at Oxford University. It was Jenny’s predominant intrigue in climate change and renewable energy which then lead her to utilise her engineering skills in a career with the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines – Vestas. Following on from this, Jenny then went on to specialise in Nuclear Fusion as a renewable source of energy, at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE). During the lecture, we were able to hear of Fusion and the many benefits it entails: no carbon emissions, creates no long term nuclear waste, uses an abundant fuel source and is intrinsically safe, all ideal for an increasingly energy and sustainability conscious world. Not only has Jenny succeeded in what would be regarded as an extremely respectable and remarkable career, she also highlighted her aspiration and confidence to succeed in whatever her heart desired, regardless of being a female engineer within a male-dominated environment. After the lecture, guests were then lead on to the 4E e-lounge to network with each other over some festive treats. Pictures to follow soon...
Members of WESBath at the WES Conference 2014
Attending the 6th annual WES conference was such a great opportunity given to me and 15 other Engineering & Design students from the University of Bath, including four of us from Elec Eng. The conference started with some inspirational talks which really warmed us up and made us feel more excited about the next day and about making a change in this world in general. The day was ended with a delicious dinner and some fun activities. The next day, we got to choose which 3 sessions to go to. One session that I found special was "Personal Presence: Communicating with impact." We got some valuable tips on how to seem more confident in meetings and interviews which is a very important thing for us to succeed in our careers.
Between the sessions we got to practice our networking skills and I even got the contact details of a person working in a company I would love to work in during my year long placement! I must admit that was really exciting. To sum it up, I think those two days were extremely beneficial and enjoyable and I would suggest that all female students should try attending one of the conferences during their 3/4 years of study.
Leen Jabban, 1st Year IMEE
WESBath arriving at WES conference