Fadi Aloul | 2015 Recipient

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Airbus and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) have named Professor Fadi Aloul of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates recipient of the 2015 Award for Diversity in Engineering Education. The award was presented by Charles Champion, Executive Vice President Airbus Engineering and Patron of the Diversity Award at the GEDC annual meeting in Adelaide, Australia.

In addition to the global visibility which the award offers, Professor Aloul receives a significant financial contribution to support his work.

“We are convinced at Airbus that diversity fosters innovation, performance and engagement,” said Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer of Airbus. “We need talented and diverse engineers to remain at the forefront of our innovative and fascinating industry. That’s why Airbus is working hand in hand with the education sector to build and secure a diverse talent pipeline.”

Professor Aloul was selected as the Award recipient for his key role in developing a common first-year program at the AUS, which introduces undergraduate students to the engineering profession, stimulating their critical thinking, creativity and innovation. To date, over 10,000 students from 92 nationalities have taken part, with an average of 35 percent female students.

“This year, the Jury had the opportunity to assess three outstanding candidates, whose work focuses on very different areas. At Airbus, we are committed to continuously building a diverse and inclusive workforce, and to encouraging all forms of diversity, as so well illustrated by this year’s Award recipient,” said Charles Champion.

“Engineering is one of the most exciting, challenging and varied careers, where teamwork is hugely important," explained the GEDC's John Beynon. "This year, we saw that all our finalists have the support of equally committed colleagues and team members. The message is that together we can, and will, make a difference."

Airbus and the GEDC are united in their belief that engineers will play a vital part in creating the sustainable solutions to critical issues facing society in the future. Bringing together industry and academia in partnership, the Award was launched in 2012, reflecting the Airbus and GEDC's mutual ambition to increase the numbers of engineers from all backgrounds and profiles entering the engineering workforce.

The Award recognises the grassroots initiatives and the people behind them which enable students from all backgrounds and profiles to study and succeed in the field of engineering, as students and also when they join the workforce. The Jury’s criteria for the Award focused on the demonstrable success of each initiative, the transferability of the ideas and the potential to inspire others globally.

At the gala ceremony for the Award in Adelaide, an additional honour was presented to Gary May from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. He received an exceptional Jury’s Recognition for Outstanding Achievement, recognizing his career-long efforts and achievements in increasing diversity in engineering.

The 2015 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Finalists

Fadi Aloul, Director of the HP Institute and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - selected for his work in the development of Introduction to Engineering and Computing, a first-year course using low cost materials and minimal resources while engaging diverse students in engineering education and developing their problem solving skills.

Renetta Tull, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Student Development & Postdoctoral Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA - selected for her work leading the Promise Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate to train undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early-career faculty.

Martin Baumann, Assistant Professor at RWTH Aachen University, Germany - selected for his work on enabling students with disabilities and diverse learners to be assessed on an equal basis with all students.

The 2015 Evaluation Committee
  • Charles Champion – Executive Vice President Engineering
  • John Beynon - Executive Dean at the University of Adelaide and Chair of the GEDC (2013-2015)
  • Karen Simmons - Sevice Quality Manager, Human Resources & Development, Qantas Engineering, Qantas Airways Limited
  • Alejandro Jadresic - Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Sciences at the University Adolfo Ibañez
  • Sushma S. Kulkarni - Director of the Rajarambapu Institute of Technology