Women in Engineering Day (yesterday, 23rd June) is an international awareness campaign to help raise the profile of women in engineering and emphasise the amazing career opportunities available in this exciting industry. It was first launched in 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society, and this year the charity is also celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Julie Audet, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Vice Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, took the opportunity to recognise two key mentors that have inspired her throughout her academic career.
In the Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University (North Carolina) 60% of its faculty members are female, and its student body is 42% women. Not many engineering departments can claim such representation. Professor Olga Pierrakos, the department’s Founding Chair, explains how creating a culture of inclusivity was key in building their success.
Ngan Huang, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University, recalls how compulsory physics and calculus courses in her first year as an undergraduate was a turning point in her career path. She also contemplates the future and offers some top advice for women (or anyone!) beginning a research career in engineering.
Combining her electrical engineering studies with a fascination of the human body, Kiana Aran pursued a PhD in biomedical engineering and is now Assistant Professor of Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics at the Keck Graduate Institute. She kindly shares her story for International Women in Engineering Day.
Minh Le discusses the challenges that female scientists face in traditional Asian societies. Minh herself was born and raised in Vietnam but went abroad to develop her academic career, but frequently returns to mentor Vietnamese students and volunteer in wider educational activities and projects.
"A female mentor can serve as a great source of empowerment"
Well said, and another shout-out to Shayla Nikzad and Xiwen Gong for that.