1. Meet the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Finalists

For five years, the GEDC Airbus Diversity Award has celebrated successful projects which have encouraged more people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. The main goal of the award is to increase diversity among the global community of engineers, with diversity recognized as a driver for innovation and growth. For the first time, in 2017 the award has been granted UNESCO patronage. 

The three finalist projects from Australia, Canada and Japan were selected from 45 entries from 18 countries : 

Australia: The Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme from the University of New South Wales. Alex Bannigan WIE Mangaer explains: “This program aims to improve the recruitment and retention of female engineers through outreach activities and scholarships at all academic levels. The WIE Programme also delivers a comprehensive range of workshops and activities targeted at changing the image of engineering among female students, parents, employers and teachers. It is also focussed on raising awareness amongst industry, and helping companies achieve their diversity goals and transformations. Alumni and industry partners are engaged as speakers, mentors and sponsors. The project’s mission is to address gender imbalance and create a strong community of support and guidance for engineering students at a national level.” 

Canada: The University of Calgary - the Schulich School of Engineering - has been selected for the Discover Engineering Programme. “It is a teaching initiative used to introduce secondary level students to engineering” says Qiao Sun, Associate Dean (Equity and Diversity) at the University of Calgary. “Trained student facilitators, primarily from underrepresented groups themselves, lead engineering career workshops for 16 to 18-year-old students. The program goal is to increase the diversity of future University of Calgary students, helping them to develop a deeper understanding of engineering, introducing them to the wide range of career paths, and demonstrating how engineers solve problems in society. Additionally, Discover Engineering serves as a teacher learning opportunity, so that educators can provide students with informed career advice and incorporate engineering topics into the classroom.”  

Japan: The Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu, with the BIRDS Satellite Project. “The BIRDS Satellite Project trains graduate students from developing countries in using cost-effective innovative systems engineering to execute a comprehensive two-year satellite project”, describes Taiwo Raphael Tejumola, Project Manager. “The long-term goal is to equip them to commence a sustainable space program in their respective home countries. The collaborative program provides a unique opportunity for young engineers to compete in today’s global market, teaching specialized waste-minimising systems engineering models, developing core skills and also building a supportive peer network. The project also creates a sustainable pathway for participants to implement training initiatives in their home countries, further contributing to the diversification and globalization of engineering skills.” 

The three finalist projects will be presented to a jury of industry experts and engineering deans, who will gather for the GEDC annual conference in Niagara Falls, Canada, between 10th and 13th October 2017. 

The 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award winner will receive 10,000 USD to support the further development of the project. The two runners up will each receive 1,500 USD to help communicate their projects. 

Click here to read the full press release from Airbus.

2017 Finalists

BIRDS Satellite Project - JAPAN

Kyushu Institute of Technology

The BIRDS Satellite Project trains graduate students from developing countries in using cost-effective innovative systems engineering to execute a comprehensive two-year satellite project, with the long-term goal of equipping them to commence a sustainable space program in their respective home countries. The collaborative program provides a unique opportunity for young engineers to compete in today’s global market, teaching specialized waste-minimising systems engineering models, developing core skills and also building a supportive peer network. The project also creates a sustainable pathway for participants to implement training initiatives in their home countries, further contributing to the diversification and globalization of engineering skills.

 
Discover Engineering Programme at the Schulich School of Engineering - CANADA

University of Calgary

Discover Engineering is a teaching initiative used to introduce secondary level students to engineering. 25 trained student facilitators, primarily from underrepresented groups themselves, lead engineering career workshops for Grade 11 and 12 students. The program goal is to increase the diversity of future University of Calgary students; helping students to develop a deeper understanding of engineering, introducing them to the wide range of career paths, and demonstrating how engineers solve problems in society. Additionally, Discover Engineering serves as a teacher learning opportunity, so that educators can provide students with informed career advice and incorporate engineering topics into the classroom.

Discover Engineering Programme
WIE: Women in Engineering Programme - AUSTRALIA

University of New South Wales

The Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme aims to break down barriers and raise awareness of Engineering opportunities for women; improving recruitment and retention of female engineers through outreach, scholarships and opportunities at all academic levels, from school student to professional engineers. The program delivers a comprehensive range of workshops and activities targeted at changing the image of engineering among female students, parents, employers, and teachers. Also focussed at raising awareness amongst industry, and helping companies achieve their diversity goals and transformations. Alumni and industry partners are engaged as speakers, mentors and sponsors. The project’s mission is to address gender imbalance and create a strong community of support and guidance for engineering students at a national level.

Women in Engineering Programme at the University of New South Wales