Year of Engineering celebrated at Westminster Abbey

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As 2018, the Year of Engineering, draws to a close, the contribution of engineering and engineers to society was recognised yesterday (22nd November 2018) in a national celebration at Westminster Abbey.

The service, led by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, marked the government’s Year of Engineering and the bicentenary of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), and shone a spotlight on the contribution the profession makes to inspiring the next generation. It was the first of its kind and jointly organised by HM Government, ICE, and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), funder of our Women Like Me project supporting women and girls in engineering.


Roma Agrawal MBE, Associate Director at AECOM, and Colonel Deborah Porter, Deputy Commander of the Defence Medical Group, gave testimonies on how engineering had changed their lives and enabled them to help and inspire others through their work. Children from local schools were invited to attend, with reflection on how industry and government have joined forces throughout 2018 to bring engineering to life for young people from all backgrounds – and the importance of this continuing in 2019 and beyond.

You can find out more, including quotes from Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, ICE President Andrew Wyllie CBE and President of the Royal Academy of Engineers Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS from the UK Government, details of the service from Westminster Abbey, and contents of the talks from The Engineer. Images are from the reports linked.

Panel discussion: Speak Up against violence and abuse

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This is a guest post by Ana Miguel Lazaro, Student Inclusivity Project Officer at UWE Bristol. Ana is part of UWE’s SpeakUp campaign, which aims to create an inclusive campus where diversity is celebrated, antisocial attitudes and behaviours are challenged and any type of harassment, assault and discrimination aren’t acceptable – and is asking you to #SpeakUp if you see or hear something that’s not right, and be an active bystander.

Monday 26th November, 15:00-17:00, Bristol Business School, 4X113, Frenchay campus

In recognition of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th November 2018), UWE Bristol is hosting a panel discussion to continue conversations around violence and abuse.

A new campaign called SpeakUp has been launched to help UWE Bristol students and staff speak up and report unacceptable behaviour such as harassment, discrimination and violence. SpeakUp has been introduced this term to raise awareness and prevent these types of incidents on campus.

Join us to:

  • Hear from our UWE Bristol panel of experts in the field and ask them questions
  • Learn about the SpeakUp Campaign and collect your SpeakUp badge
  • Enjoy the refreshments

The panel includes Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost Jane Harrington, Professor of Criminology Kieran McCartan, Associate Head of Department Research – Education and Childhood Helen Bovill and Chief Executive of White Ribbon UK Anthea Sully.

Please register for this event via Jotform as spaces are limited.

Unable to attend? Learn more about the SpeakUp campaign on the UWE Bristol website, or sign the White Ribbon Pledge to end male violence against women.

KS2 live solar lesson tomorrow!

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Tomorrow – Friday 23rd November at 2 pm you can tune into the BBC’s 40 minute live lesson, where pupils will tackle a Doctor Who style challenge while discovering how light travels and exploring the planets of the solar system.
Go to: to watch live.
Designed for Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level students, this active science lesson presented by CBBC’s Naomi Wilkinson and Karim Zeroual will feature scientific demonstrations and accessible Super Movers Brain Boosters.

Classroom resources


After the Live Lesson, the BBC will record a very special panel discussion programme for teachers. Teachers will be able to watch the full programme a few days after the Live Lesson has aired here on our website.

How to get involved

Prior to the Live Lesson, you can send in your class’s ideas for weird, wonderful and out of this world, translucent, transparent and opaque objects! Email us your ideas with your class and school name at or tweet @BBC_Teach and with the hashtag #bbclivelessons

You can also email your pupils’ questions for the BBC’s experts at and they may be featured in the live programme.

If your class will be watching, let us know! Email us with a short message and your class and school name at and you could be mentioned on the Live Lesson.

What is Super Movers?

Super Movers is a partnership between the Premier League and BBC which aims to inspire primary school children to get active. Find out more here.


Blog post adapted from the BBC live lesson page – Originally posted by Louisa Cockbill on Curiosity Connections.

Women in Research Mentoring Scheme event for UWE Bristol academic staff

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Monday 3rd December 2018, 12:00 – 14:00
Please see staff intranet for location
Come along to find out more about the Women in Research Mentoring Scheme and how you can get involved as a mentee/mentor and hear first hand accounts from current mentees/mentors.

Booking information

Please register to attend

Event details

This lunchtime event is open to any member of UWE academic staff and will begin with lunch and informal networking followed by presentations.

If you are not currently a WRMS member, feel free to come along and find out more about the scheme from the Chair, Harriet Shortt and how you can get involved as a mentor/mentee.

For more details about the scheme please see the UWE Bristol website.

If you are currently a WRMS member, please come along to network.

Listen to our keynote speaker, Amy Armstrong, an experienced coach, who will be talking about the value of mentoring, how a good mentoring relationship works and why mentoring for women can create a positive space for women.

Hear first-hand accounts, from one of our current mentors and mentees, about their experiences of being members of the WRMS.

Please register to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

Biography: Amy Armstrong specialises in enabling leaders and their teams to excel under stress. Formerly a director of fast growing business in the EdTech sector, Amy combines 15 years of leadership and high-performance business, with extensive experience as an executive coach and clinical hypnotherapist. She has a deep interest in how we face and master the human challenges of work, and enjoys working with a diverse range of Bristol’s leaders, founders and rising stars to develop habits of sustainable success through calm, confidence and clarity.

For further information including location and detailed timings:

UWE Bristol events page (staff only)


November is Global Month of Play – Real Play Coalition

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The Real Play Coalition was formed in 2018 by IKEA, The LEGO Foundation, Unilever’s Persil, OMO and Surf Excel, and National Geographic. This November, they have introduced the Global Month of Play to “help combat the erosion of play”.

The website provides a free newsletter and activity finder and lots of play-based activities giving children the opportunity to grow and learn through play.

November’s Global Month of Play will see a programme of activities aimed at families, schools and communities to excite and engage children in their everyday lives. The Real Play Coalition will reach over 3 million children in more than 100 countries, with activities taking place in across 26,000 classrooms, with the message that “play is rocket fuel for children’s development”.

IKEA are inviting everyone to join extra playful activities in more than 400 IKEA stores around the world as part of their Let’s Play for Change campaign, with the message that play is vital for all of us, everywhere, every day. The IKEA activities can be followed on #letsplayforchange and #FablerBjorn.

The Lego Foundation and LEGO Group are celebrating UNICEF’s Universal Children’s Day (#worldchildrensday) on 20th November through their Build the Change events. Children in selected locations in Mexico, the UK, China, South Africa and Denmark have been invited to use LEGO® bricks to build their dream school, in which learning through play and creativity are part of everything they do. The LEGO Foundation will hand a selection of insights, ideas and learning from the project to world leaders at the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 2019.

Unilever’s Persil, OMO and Surf Excel are supporting Outdoor Classroom Day, a global campaign led by NGO Project Dirt to inspire and celebrate outdoor learning and play. Thousands of schools across the globe took their lessons outside and prioritised playtime on 1st November. Over 3 million children across 26,000 classrooms joined in 2018. Parents and teachers can sign up at

National Geographic are producing a series of videos for the Real Play Coalition, titled Play Made Me This Way. These will reveal, through memories and testimonies, the life-changing impact of play in their formative years on some inspiring people. Videos can be watched on National Geographic and Real Play Coalition social media channels; find them using #PlayMadeMeThisWay. You can also more about why National Geographic believe play is so important here.

The Real Play Coalition website launched on 1st November at the start of the Global Month of Play and will “form a platform to discuss just how critical play is in forming the well-rounded, creative, empathetic and lateral-thinking adults that tomorrow’s society needs”.

Follow the Real Play Coalition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Old and new generations of roboticists come together at Bristol Women in Robotics meet-up

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This is a guest post by Dr Antonia Tzemanaki from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, who coordinates the Bristol Women in Robotics group. Women in Robotics Bristol/South West is part of a global professional network for women in robotics, such as our very own Women Like Me engineer Pavlina Theodosiouand women who want to be. They promote the visibility of women in robotics.

The most recent meet-up of the Bristol Women in Robotics group took place on Thursday 8th November 2018. 14 women attended, including staff from UWE Bristol, the University of Bristol and OpenBionics as well as new MSc and PhD students. It was a great mix between older and newer generations of roboticists and topics included internships, exchanging help on application writing and discussing future collaborations among others.

The next meetup will take place in the next couple of months, make sure to subscribe to our emailing list if you are interested and join our Slack channel. Ideas for events are always welcome!

You can also follow Bristol Women in Robotics on Twitter.

Show of Strength’s story of Sarah Guppy inspires in Bristol and Monmouth

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Show of Strength‘s Sarah Guppy: The Bridge, The Bed, The Truth has been showing this week in Bristol and Monmouth, opening to a full house and great reception.

In the Year of Engineering and Centenary of Women’s Suffrage, the show tells the story of Sarah Guppy, an engineer, inventor, campaigner, designer, reformer, writer, environmentalist and business woman.

Sarah moved to Bristol in 1795 when she married merchant Samuel Guppy. She supported Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was the mother of (along with another five children) Thomas Guppy, who worked with Brunel on many projects, including the SS Great Britain.

She was the first woman to formally designed and patent bridge, along with inventing other creations, such as an early teasmade which cooked eggs in its steam and an exercise bed. Sarah also mentored Brunel with his winning entry to design a bridge to span the Avon Gorge – the now iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The show drew many parallels with the present day and explicitly links Sarah’s achievements to the challenges experienced by women today, asking them to build on her pioneering steps. There was even a mention for some of our Women Like Me participants as shining examples of women currently shaping the future of engineering in Bristol. And Storysmith Books, Bristol’s new independent bookshop, were inspired by the show to create a display of books featuring women in STEM. Almost 250 years after her birth, Sarah Guppy continues to light the way for women in engineering.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2018 Big Assembly now available to watch on demand

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This year, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week presented the first Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly.

The assembly was streamed live at 10.30 am on 7th November 2018, offering schools across the UK the chance to simultaneously take part in the same assembly on engineering careers.

A panel of inspiring engineers discussed their careers and the positive impact engineering has on the issues young people care about most, such as protecting the environment, animal welfare, safety and security, health and entertainment.

More than 400 schools participated with nearly 50,000 students taking part.

If you missed it, or would like to watch again, the assembly is now available to play and download at

A bridge, a plane, a helicopter…UWE’s Lottie has been touring for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week

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This is a guest post by UWE’s Lottie dolls about the 2018 #lottietour for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (although we think there may have been some help from Laura Maybury…)

The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) are running their third Lottie Tour in accordance with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (5th-9th November). The tour is designed to highlight how varied and exciting a career in engineering can be and a huge number of engineering companies are supporting and taking part in #lottietour. This year is the first year that Engineering at UWE have taken part and with the help of Laura Maybury, Rachel Szadziewska and our alumni, hopefully you will see for yourself that #lottieuwe dolls are having an excellent time! Lottie has been making a diary of her travels for the Engineering Our Future Blog….

Monday 5th November

I’m a little nervous this morning, it’s the start of my big tour and I don’t actually know where I am heading! Laura says that its one of the best places in Bristol, but that we have to leave early because we’ll probably get stuck in traffic.

Well we’ve arrived (although I didn’t really appreciate being stuck in a handbag as we walked over from the car) and wow the view from up here is amazing. I’ve worked out that we are at the Clifton Suspension Bridge and I can see for miles. I went to see the bridge first to take some pictures and to learn a little about the bridge’s history. Work on the bridge began in 1754 and wasn’t completed until 1864. Unfortunately the bridge’s designer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (IKB), would never see the completed bridge. Following an initial competition for the bridges design, and having found no one suitable, IKB at just 23 years old won the second competition. Major bridge investor Sir Abraham Elton called it ‘the ornament of Bristol and the wonder of the age’.

Next, I was told that I was allowed in the vaults; I was a bit scared as we had to go underground, but it was definitely worth the visit. To save money, time and effort, the bridge was built into the cliff face rather than any of the cliff face being removed. They were only discovered in 2002 and were designed to support the tower’s weight and transfer load from the bridge into the rock face. We couldn’t go into one of the vaults as it was full of water and I didn’t want to get wet! I’ve had such a good first day; I can’t wait to see where I am going tomorrow….

Tuesday 6th November

After yesterday I’m quite tired but I’m eager to get going as Laura has organised a trip to Aerospace Bristol….did you know they have a Concorde? Excited much!!

Concorde is HUGE!!! It’s in a hangar on its own and me and my friend (she’s also called Lottie) were able to stand underneath her wings; we looked so tiny! I learnt quite a bit about Concorde and why she means so much to people in Bristol… I think I remembered everything.

“Concorde is a symbol of the UK’s ambition, innovation, collaboration and technological achievement. Bristol can safely claim to be the true home of Concorde. The airframe and the engines were largely developed here, the UK assembly line was located here, and all UK Concordes made their maiden flight from Filton’s runway.” Concorde made her maiden flight on March 2nd 1969, but it wasn’t until October 1st of the same year that she achieved Mach 1. By November 4th 1970 she had clocked Mach 2. In 1977 she made the first of her famous flights between London and New York (previously bared from this route because of noise pollution. In 2003 she made her last flight.

I can’t write anymore today as I’m about to be ‘posted’. I don’t know what that actually means but Laura seems a bit worried that I might get lost….I’d really rather not!

Wednesday 7th November

I made it safely, now I can understand why I was wrapped up in some poppy bubbly stuff. Being posted isn’t comfortable! I am meeting Kat Jordan today, who works at a place called Renishaw.  Apparently she studied at UWE and is looking after me for the day… its nice to meet new people 🙂

I spent the day learning about Renishaw’s metrology products and how they help manufacturers to maximise their production output, significantly reduce the time taken to produce and inspect their components, and to keep their machines running reliably.

I also got to speak to Kat about her journey into engineering; I’m glad I did as it’s really interesting. “My route into engineering wasn’t the ‘norm’ (but what these days is?!) – I started my Mechanical Engineering BEng in 2012 when my son started at pre-school. I did two years full time and then the sandwich year doing an Industrial Placement at Renishaw. I was asked to stay, so then finished my final year of studies split over two years part-time whilst continuing working. I graduated in 2017 with a First Class Honours. My role is a Design Development Engineer for the Styli Division – I get involved with the development of new products, changes to existing products, and anything quality related. A good way to describe my day-to-day is that I use all the different tools and systems on my computer to carry out investigations and problem solve. And I love it :)”.


Thursday 8th November

I’m back with Laura again today, she seems more excited than me about this one! We are heading to RNAS Yeovilton although we don’t yet know what we are doing, we just have to ask for someone called Tracey Clempson who is going to show us around. I’ll write later when I’m back in the car!

Blimey! I am completely exhausted! RNAS Yeovilton is vast (1,400 acres to be exact) and I’m pretty sure we saw nearly all of it. I’m only 17 cm tall….so this place seems like the biggest place on Earth and there is so much going on! I visited the Wildcat Helicopter Simulator before heading over to see 825 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and the Wildcat HMA2’s they maintain.  Then, on the way to visit 846 NAS and one of their Merlin Helicopters, I popped into the Stations Fire Department! As if that wasn’t enough, I finished my day in the Air Traffic Control Tower, visiting the controllers and the weather office! I could see the whole airfield from up there and a Wildcat was flying at the time.

Tracey told me “RNAS Yeovilton is one of the Navy’s two principal air bases, and one of the busiest military airfields in the UK. It is home to more than 100 aircraft operated on both front-line squadrons and training units, including the Wildcat Maritime Force, Commando Helicopter Force as well as the Air Engineering Training School. The Station is also home to vintage aircraft of the RN Historic Flight.”

I still have one more day to go on my official tour but I’ve had such a great time that I have already built up a list of places to visit so you will definitely be seeing more of me!

More of Lottie’s adventures can be seen on Engineering at UWE’s Twitter (@EngineeringUWE), Facebook (@EngineeringatUWE) and Instagram (@EngineeringatUWE) accounts and using #lottieuwe.

First dates announced for UWE’s new BAME girls in Engineering project

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Yesterday we were delighted to announce the launch Udonna Okeke’s new UWE Bristol project, BAME girls in Engineering, and we now have the exciting news that dates for the first two school visits for the project have been set. What better way to round off Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2018 than helping to inspire the next generation?

The project offers opportunities for Black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) girls, who are often under-represented in engineering, in Years 8 and 9 to visit local engineering or technology employers and to participate in mentoring meetings with professional BAME women in engineering role models.

Udonna has arranged two sessions on Wednesday 21st November for BAME girls and women in engineering to meet in group mentoring meetings.

These will take place at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple Secondary School in the morning and City Academy in the afternoon.

Engineers will be involved in workshop presentation and sharing of their individual experiences that can help motivate and inspire the students.

Udonna is currently looking for BAME women in engineering to get involved as mentors; he will organise for a taxi to pick you up from your preferred location in Bristol to take you to the City Academy or St Mary Redcliffe.

If you would like to be involved, please get in touch with Udonna.