Celebrating women in engineering day

Published 26th June 2014 at 9:50am

Girls from schools across the region have taken part in a day of activities at Sheffield Hallam University this week, as part of National Women in Engineering Day 2014.

National Women in Engineering Day took place on Monday 23 June and aims to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and get more girls studying science, engineering, technology and maths-related (STEM) subjects, to address the comparatively low numbers of girls studying these subjects and the UK’s future skills shortage.

40 girls from Yewlands and Tapton secondary schools in Sheffield, Ridgewood School in Doncaster and Sheffield’s new University Technical College took part in a series of Tour de France-themed hands-on activities, in which they were able to find out about cycling technology, develop and test designs for a cycling helmet, see the effect of nutrition on performance, and meet women working and studying engineering.

Pupils were also able to use state-of-the-art technology as part of an activity on the use of robotics in the food engineering sector – an industry which has already taken steps to address the skills shortage by working with Sheffield Hallam to create a new MEng Food Engineering degree, available exclusively at the University from September 2014.

And Nestle UK employee Hannah Whall also came along and talked to the girls about her role as a project engineer for one of the country’s largest food and drink manufacturers, itself a key supporter of the new MEng Food Engineering degree.

The day at Sheffield Hallam was organised by the University’s Women in Science Engineering and Technology team (WiSET).

Denise Eaton, project manager for the team said: “Engineering is all about creativity and problem-solving. It’s an exciting and diverse subject that has lots of career options, and events like this can really help to widen horizons.

One of the girls who attended yesterday told us that she enjoyed learning how engineering has a huge impact on everyday life. Through events like this we are trying to help these girls see all the possibilities open to them. ‘

National Women in Engineering Day has been set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary. It aims to celebrate the work that women do in engineering, and to showcase the great engineering careers that are available for girls.  Events took place across the country on Monday 23 June with an estimated 200 schools taking part.