Women Like Me engineer Rachel Kirkwood engages 1778 children for Leaders Awards

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Rachel Kirkwood, graduate engineer at Peter Brett, reached 1778 primary school pupils today in her online presentation for the Leaders Award. The children from 14 schools across England and Scotland.

The Leaders Award is supported by UWE Bristol and asks children “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”. This free competition asks students to find a problem, invent a solution, draw it, explain and send it in. Pupils are encouraged to both interview engineers and watch the online interviews.

Rachel, who is taking part in UWE’s Women Like Me project to support women and girls in engineering, spoke about civil engineering and transport planning. After the presentation, she said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was a great opportunity to give an insight into the varied world of civil engineering and transport planning. The pupils asked very interesting and sometimes challenging questions. They all seemed to enjoy the session and learn a lot.”

We’re sure Rachel inspired many children today, and are looking forward to more Leaders Award presentations.

Engineers who would like to support Primary Engineer / The Leaders Award can find out more here. Schools which would like to participate in Meet an Engineer interviews can find more information here.

Bristol Robotics Lab seeks new Professor of Robotics at UWE Bristol

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The Bristol Robotics Laboratory is currently advertising the post of Professor of Robotics: : Provably Safe Human-Robot Interaction, to be based at the UWE Bristol Frenchay campus:

“The Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the Faculty of Environment & Technology have an exciting permanent and full time position for a Professor of Autonomous Robot Vehicles to join BRL within the Engineering, Design & Mathematics Department… 

… Although the application foci for this post are not restricted, and certainly encompass all of the ‘dirty, dull and dangerous’ domains, two exemplar areas of particular interest currently to the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, where such issues are rapidly becoming ‘centre-stage’, are Connected Autonomous Vehicles, where the vehicle can be viewed as a kind of robot that users get into, and robot care for older adults or the infirm, often termed ‘Assisted Living’.”

For more information and to apply, please see the job listing on the UWE Bristol jobs site.

Turf cutting ceremony marks construction of new engineering building

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As work on the new Engineering building at UWE Bristol begins, a turf cutting ceremony involving Construction Director Neil Dorrington and Senior Site Manager Selina Elmasry from contractors BAM, and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Technology at UWE Bristol Professor Paul Olomolaiye, was held on 15th January to mark its construction.

The state-of-the-art facility will be home to more than 1600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 100 academic and technical staff from a wide variety of engineering disciplines. The building will also host specialist workshops, study areas and laboratories.

Work is due to be completed in summer 2020, with the facility contributing
to the University’s vision of being one of the top engineering schools in the country through promoting multi-disciplinary, collaborative learning and supports the predicted increase in demand for skilled engineering graduates across the region.

More information about the turf cutting ceremony can be found on the staff intranet, while more about the Engineering building can be found on the project site on the staff intranet and the UWE Bristol website.

Lisa Brodie appointed to Aerospace Bristol board

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Dr Lisa Brodie, Head of the Department of Engineering Mathematics and Design, was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Aerospace Bristol in December. Aerospace Bristol aims to advance learning, skills and training in science, technology, engineering and design; to conserve Bristol’s heritage for present and future generations and to celebrate the world class achievements of the aerospace industry in Bristol.  Collaborating with Aerospace Bristol demonstrates UWE’s commitment to our flagship aerospace programme, to raising the profile of STEM, the museum and future of Aerospace for the region.

Read more about Lisa, including her work in the aerospace sector, in her UWE Staff Story.

Women Like presented at Association for Science Education conference

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UWE’s Women Like Me project, run by Dr Laura Fogg Rogers and Dr Laura Hobbs, was featured in a presentation about making Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths accessible to under-represented groups at the Association for Science Education Annual Conference today.

Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project aimed at boosting female representation in engineering.  The project pairs senior women engineers with junior women engineers to give them mentoring support as they start out in their engineering careers. In turn, junior women undertake engineering education outreach in schools and at public events in the Bristol and Bath area. Engineering is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline, and this project aims to support girls and women to make a difference in society.

ASE’s Annual Conference is Europe’s largest science education Continuing Professional Development conference. The 2019 conference is being held 9th-12th January at the University of Birmingham. This National conference brings together the best speakers and practitioners all in one place with 504 sessions, 473 speakers and 2,000 delegates.

“Women Like Me: mentoring and outreach for women and girls in engineering” was authored by Laura Hobbs and Laura Fogg Rogers and presented by Laura Hobbs, as part of the Making STEM for everyone: reaching under-served audiences session of the conference.

BAME girls in engineering launches with great success

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Following the initiation of his new project, BAME girls in engineering, Dr Udonna Okeke tells us about the success of its first school visits in this guest post.

My team and I had our first two school visits for the project at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple Secondary School and City Academy, Bristol. We were involved in workshop presentations and also shared our individual experiences to motivate and inspire the students.

Indeed, we recorded a great success and some of the feedback we received includes:

“It was noticed that the first thing the girls related to you all was regarding identity. This became a platform of introduction/ an ice-breaker, where-by discussing which part of Africa you were from, in relation to their own backgrounds allowed for a rapport to have been built between your groups very quickly”

“This is fun’ ‘Are we going to get to do this again? Can we?”

“Engagement was fantastic. Groups of around 5 or 6 per facilitator made it more valuable. They were asked to think about their personal barriers to success, where they want to be in 5-10 years, how they will get there”.

“Each facilitator had a personal success story, so they were able to share that, they were calm, engaging and clearly knew how to work with this age group”.

“Lots of laughter, good contributions, no behaviour problems, the girls did CAB proud”.

In 2019, I look forward to more school visits, mentorship meetings, industry visits and the success stories that will follow.

Lottie Visits Jaguar Land Rover (and sees it all!)

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UWE’s Lottie is back, reporting (with a little help from Laura Maybury) on her engineering #lottietour adventures, this time at Jaguar Land Rover, in this guest post.

I was hoping for a skiing holiday before Christmas but I found myself piled on top of Laura’s Christmas cards to be sent off in my jiffy bag! It’s not scary anymore, I just fall asleep and wait to see where I end up… #experiencedtraveller

I was greeted out of my bag by Prisilla who, as I found out, is a current engineering student enjoying a placement year at Jaguar Land Rover. Prisilla had organised a lot of things for me to see so we had an early start; but I was excited to learn more about JLR, I can just see me in a Range Rover! I started my journey in Body Shop 3. This is where the shell of the cars are joined together, before moving onwards to the paint shop.  I found out that the body shop is mainly automated, which is a great practical application of robotics within the engineering industry. Maintenance engineers have to make sure the robots are running as desired and fixed in time. Engineers also work on the manufacturing process and making sure future construction is planned correctly. I even had a seat in the control desk where the live status of each zones are monitored and recorded.

After going through paint, the car comes into the assembly halls. In the pictures, I am in the Trim and Final hall for the F-Pace and Velar cars. This is the most important place on site, as this is where the shell of the car gets assembled and built up with the engine and all other parts to get the final finished product. Engineering plays a key role: from production to maintenance of the machines to the manufacturing of the parts and to even fixing issues found. Engineers also contribute during the launch of a car: making sure the car is being built correctly, problem solving any launch issues to monitoring the build and ensuring the car is ready for the customer. You can see me in the chassis line, in glazing where the sunroofs are fitted and in general areas of the track (basically anywhere I could get to!).

I’d seen so much already but Prisilla said that we had some more to come…this place is huge!!  I got the chance to head over to a building called Batch and Hold, where I saw more pipes than I’ve ever seen in my life!! It was a very complicated but interesting pipe system and I found out that these are the pipes which provide the fluids for the water test that cars have to go through after being made. No one wants a leaky car! Engineers are involved from the design to the manufacturing to the daily maintenance of these pipes.  These engineers get everywhere!

I finished my visit at the main entrance where I was able to get a picture with Prisilla! I think the main thing I took away from my visit is that even though JLR is seen as an automotive company, it involves many other engineering disciplines. Each discipline plays a part in a JLR car, which is why engineering is an industry with many opportunities; there’s literally something for everyone. (I’ve also snuck in a photo of me looking out the window at the end of the day, I didn’t want to go home really….sorry Laura!).

Looking for Engineering lesson ideas?

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Now that 2018, the Year of Engineering, has come to an end, how can we keep embedding the E in STEM into teaching and learning?

The Year of Engineering website has a dedicated Lesson Ideas page, which brings together a large collection of resources which can be filtered by age range, format, curriculum link and length. Ideas range from lessons on combustion to game design to sports safety to space exploration and much more…

You can also access general resources, such as the What is Engineering? video below, the Marvel More Heroes Needed aptitude test and an engineering activities map.

Women Like Me featured in Science in Public conference presentation

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UWE’s Women Like Me project, run by Dr Laura Fogg Rogers and Dr Laura Hobbs, was featured in a presentation about increasing visibility of minority groups at STEM events at the Science in Public conference today.

Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project aimed at boosting female representation in engineering.  The project pairs senior women engineers with junior women engineers to give them mentoring support as they start out in their engineering careers. In turn, junior women undertake engineering education outreach in schools and at public events in the Bristol and Bath area. Engineering is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline, and this project aims to support girls and women to make a difference in society.

Science in Public 2018 was a conference “centred on the multiple ways that scholars have sought to intervene in, understand, talk about, and co-produce with, the natural sciences – whether from the perspective of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Public Understanding of Science, Science Communication, Medical Sociology, the History of Science, Social and Cultural Theory, Science Journalism or some other intellectual inheritance”. It took place at the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.

“MI STEM – Improving the visibility of Minorities in STEM at science events” was authored by Laura Fogg Rogers and Laura Hobbs and presented by Laura Fogg Rogers, as part of the Communication, Education and Engagement strand of the conference.

Engineers from UWE’s Women in Science and Engineering Society excited to be building Leaders Award winning design

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A team of UWE Bristol engineering students:

have now picked one of the winning designs from this year’s Leaders Award to turn into reality. The team are part of UWE’s Women in Science and Engineering student society and Katy is also a participant in our Women Like Me mentoring and outreach project supporting women and girls in engineering.

The team picked the design of Philippa Griffiths, a Year 7 student at Hugh Sexey CE Middle School in Somerset. Philippa designed the RLBS (Red Line Braking System) to display red lights to alert other drivers of the severity of the braking and levels of attention needed, with the aim of reducing fatalities on our roads. The team will be visiting Philippa’s school in February to discuss the design with her and deliver engineering outreach for her class.
Georgina and Olesya tell us how they’re looking forward to getting started, in this video made by Miriam: