BAME Girls in Engineering great success at Bristol Brunel Academy

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Dr Udonna Okeke tells us about a hugely successfull visit of his project,  BAME girls in engineering, to Bristol Brunel Academy in this guest post.

BAME Girls in engineering in partnership with UWE BoxED, had an outreach event at the Bristol Brunel Academy on Thursday 9th May and I am extremely excited to say that the feedback from the school has been very positive.

The school is happy with our outreach project and are very keen for more outreach and other engagements with the project. Based on the feedback, the students are very happy with the outreach activities that took place and would like us to make a return visit.

Below is some of the feedback from the students:

“Excellent: it was fun, exiting and very interesting. The robotics coding was very fun, especially when we were controlling the robots”

“I thought it was very good and inspiring and I liked making the turbines and playing with the robots. I want the outreach to happen again on a Thursday”

“It was nice and fun when we listened to the talk and was given the opportunity to code and control the robots”.

This feedback means a lot to me and I am looking forward to the next phase of this project.

Celebrating Da Vinci and his pioneering inventions

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Dr Appolinaire Etoundi, Senior Lecturer in Mechatronics from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, will be exhibiting bioinspired devices from Chisel Works Robotics and Rose Industries at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on 4th May, 10am—4pm. This forms part of the exhibition celebrating Leonardo Da Vinci and his pioneering inventions.

Two of Appolinaire’s students, who are CEOs of the registered companies, are also attending, to promote the research they are undertaking at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

Sara Parker, award-winning Radio producer and reporter came to UWE on Thursday 21st March to interview Appolinaire for a BBC Radio 4 series about the remarkable multi-disciplinary vision of Leonardo with each episode focusing on different disciplines through interviews with contemporary experts in fields such as flight, engineering, anatomy – and of course robotics.

The programme will be aired at 1:45 pm on 2nd May.

Call out for Engineers: Bristol Open Doors

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In partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, we have an opportunity to involve engineers in creating inspirational events for Bristol Open Doors* (13-15 September 2019). Could you develop a boat tour of our changing harbour, or develop an event around wind turbines, tunnels, caves, medicine, earthquakes or floods? We are looking for engineers to inspire the public around what engineering can achieve (from the everyday to the spectacular). You will be well supported in the development of your activity. Open to engineers at all levels.

For more information and to register your interest by Thursday 18 April, please contact:

Lucy MacDonald, Programme Manager

Lucy.macdonald@architecturecentre.org.uk

0117 922 1540

*Bristol Open Doors is one of largest festivals in the South West.

Exploring the concept of Emotional Intelligence with Women Like Me

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In our public event at Bristol and Bath Science Park today, as part of Women Like Me’s closing event for this round, we are exploring the concept of emotional intelligence with Caroline Morris of Wide Eyed Group Leadership Consultancy.

Caroline recently wrote a great blog for us about Emotional Intelligence; read all about it here.

Don’t forget: UWE women in STEM events tomorrow

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There’s still time to sign up for two FREE events, hosted by UWE at the Bristol and Bath Science Park tomorrow (please note the change of venue; these events were originally scheduled to be held at UWE):

Women Like Me – Boosting mentoring for women in STEM in the West of England

Wednesday 3rd April, 12:00-14:00

This event brings together our leading players in women’s mentoring across the West of England, to explore how we can support each other and learn from best practice. Organised by UWE Bristol’s Women Like Me project for engineering mentoring, the network also connects with Women in Science and Engineering Bristol, the Women’s Engineering Society centenary and Curiosity Connections Bristol.

Extraordinary Women in Engineering: A WES Wikithon – UWE Bristol

Wednesday 3rd April: Training 09:30-10:00 | Wikithon drop in 10:00-14:00

Come and join us to develop your digital skills and learn more about editing Wikipedia. Help to celebrate brilliant women engineers by creating and improving their pages on the world’s favourite online historical record.

Complete beginners and experienced editors, all are welcome to attend – we’ll provide training for anyone new to editing. If you already have some wiki editing experience, we can help you improve your skills and learn a few new tricks. If you’ve spotted an article that needs improving, bring along your queries and we’ll see what we can do to help. Suggestions for articles to improve and create will also be provided, along with research resources.

Sarah Guppy show and women in STEM panel discussion recorded for schools

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Back in November, Show of Strength‘s production about Sarah Guppy – engineer, inventor, campaigner, designer, reformer, writer, environmentalist and business woman – opened to great reviews.

These included comments such as:

“You won’t look at Isambard Kingdom Brunel or the Clifton Suspension Bridge in quite the same way ever again after seeing this piece.”

and:

“An inspiring and witty homage to someone who deserves a far more central place in Bristol’s – and Britain’s – commercial and industrial history.”

and crucially:

“Please find a way of getting this into every school in Bristol.”

Which is what Show of Strength, in collaboration with UWE Bristol, Future Quest, Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain, did yesterday.

Girls from Bristol Brunel Academy and Bristol Metropolitan Academy, coordinated by Future Quest’s Gemma Adams, attended an exclusive showing of Sarah Guppy: The Bridge, The Bed, The Truth in UWE’s filming studio at the university’s Bower Ashton campus. The performance was filmed, thanks to UWE’s Abigail Davies, and followed by a panel discussion on women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) which was also recorded so that both elements of yesterday’s production can be shown in schools.

The panel discussion was chaired by UWE’s Dr Madge Dresser, an expert in social and cultural British history, who recently put Sarah Guppy forward for inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. On the panel were civil engineeer Trish Johnson (the first female Bridgemaster of Clifton Suspension Bridge), mechanical engineer Nicola Grahamslaw (Conservation Engineer for the SS Great Britain), mechanical engineer Rachel Gollin (who has extensive experience of engineering various sectors across the world), Dr Laura Fogg Rogers (Senior Research Fellow at UWE; Women Like Me), Dr Laura Hobbs (Research Fellow at UWE; Women Like Me) and Miriam Cristofoletti (Robotics student at UWE’s Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

“It’s still not great for women in STEM but at least we’re allowed to be engineers and scientists now!”

Dr Laura Fogg Rogers, UWE Bristol

Discussion ranged from why girls don’t choose STEM subjects to the best thing about an engineer and back again, via conversation about what engineers can expect to earn, how to get into engineering and more.

Feedback was positive – Future Quest described hearing from a panel of women in STEM and their thoughts and advice about their careers as

“both inspiring and thought provoking”

And it is hoped that the film will inspire many more school students in future.

Header image shows left to right: Trish Johnson (Clifton Suspension Bridge), Nicola Grahamslaw (SS Great Britain), Rachel Gollin, Kim Hicks as Sarah Guppy, Dr Laura Fogg Rogers (UWE Bristol), Dr Laura Hobbs (UWE Bristol), Miriam Cristofoletti (UWE Bristol), Sheila Hannon (Producer, Show of Strength), Dr Madge Dresser (UWE Bristol) and Gemma Adams (UWE Bristol/Future Quest).

UWE student engineers consider challenges within society

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Last week, UWE Bristol’s first year Engineering students completed a second project week at Frenchay. They looked at engineering as a civic responsibility, applying their problem-solving skills to real world issues as Dr Tushar Dhavale (Programme Lead for Mechanical Engineering) tells us in this guest post.

All the first year student engineers went through an amazing experience of working through a second project week, which was organised in ECC from 18th-22nd March. The students worked in groups and put their heads together to address challenges within the society in Tamil Nadu, India.

Through this mechanism the participants went through a thorough research followed by engineering analysis and a presentation in the form of a poster.

There was a wide spectrum of speakers from industry, all of them ex-UWE who were quite keen to come back to UWE and speak to the future engineers.

For the students, this was a wholesome experience where they had an opportunity to apply knowledge they gathered here at UWE to real world problems and attain a sense of achievement.

Women Like Me engineer takes part in I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here

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Our Women Like Me participant and Atkins engineer Charlene Chung took part in the I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here competition earlier this month, answering children’s questions about engineering in the ‘Milligram Zone’.

I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here is an online event where school students connect with engineers. It’s an X Factor-style competition between engineers, where the students are the judges.

Students challenge the engineers over fast-paced online live CHATs. They ASK the engineers anything they want, and VOTE for their favourite engineer to win a prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public.

The Milligram Zone was a general engineering zone, where children could meet six engineers working in different areas. In her profile, Charlene described her work as a hydraulic modeller:

“I construct and investigate hydraulic models of sewer systems. Ever thought about what happens to the dirty water flushed from toilets, down from the kitchen, bathroom and utility rooms? Well I deal with that! I use computer and mapping software to investigate flood risk and flood mechanisms, ensuring that the sewer systems are fit for purpose and suitable for future growth.”

She reached hundreds of children and answered many questions about engineering – well done Charlene!