School of Chemical Engineering

Universities came together to build a better future for the engineering industry earlier this month, with an aim of increasing the number of women studying engineering.

Led by The University of Queensland, 17 universities from across Australia and New Zealand took part in UQ’s biennial Collaboration Workshop - Engineering a Diverse Future, in Melbourne on 11-12 October.

University representatives shared their ideas and initiatives in a bid to achieve one common long-term goal – to see female participation in engineering increase collectively across the South Pacific.

Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology Executive Dean Professor Vicki Chen said UQ was the first to offer a program aimed at increasing the number of women in engineering, and she hoped to see other universities follow suit.

“We want to see broad systemic change that can benefit industry and the wider community in Australia and globally, not just at UQ, and we fundamentally believe that schools, universities and industry need to collaborate if this is to be achieved,” she said.

“This workshop is the perfect opportunity for the leading universities across Australia and New Zealand to join forces and to generate more gender diversity within the engineering industry.”

Engineers Australia CEO Peter McIntyre opened the event and shared key ways industry, government and academia can work together to increase greater diversity in the profession.

“Getting more women into the profession is essential; there is too much untapped talent if we don’t achieve this,” he said.

“We need to fundamentally redefine the perceptions our society has on the work of engineers.”

The symposium addressed prospective and current student engagement, and collaborating with teachers and influencers with the goal of a continuous, consistent approach to make a transformational impact on the industry.

Supported by Rio Tinto, The Australian Power Institute, Powerlink and Energy Queensland, UQ’s Women in Engineering program aims to increase female enrolments in engineering programs to 30 per cent by 2023.

For more information, visit UQ’s Women in Engineering program online:  https://www.eait.uq.edu.au/we or email: we@eait.uq.edu.au  

 Media: EAIT Communications, Paige Ashby, p.ashby@uq.edu.au, 0430 511 615.