Department collaborates with UKESF and Apple to inspire more female and gender minority students into electronics
- Building on the success of previous years, the UK Electronic Skills Foundation (UKESF) is again collaborating with the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield to run a 'Girls into Electronics' event
- The event is aimed at female and gender minority students in years 11-13, helping to inspire students to consider further study and careers in electronics
- This year UKESF is sponsored by Apple, who are providing Arduino kits for the practical sessions and visits from female members of engineering design teams
The UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF), in collaboration with Apple, has announced its exciting ‘Girls into Electronics’ programme for 2023. This initiative will provide opportunities for hundreds of female and gender minority students between ages 15-18 to be inspired by Electronics and will be delivered in collaboration with 15 of the UK’s leading universities, including the University of Sheffield.
The Electronics sector is extremely important to the UK economy. The global semiconductor industry is the fourth largest industry in the world, and the global compound semiconductor market has been forecast to reach $136 billion by 2024, of which the UK have an 8% share. However, the demand for employable graduates is currently outstripping supply. UCAS figures show that only 3,245 students enrolled on degrees in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in the UK 2021, of which as few as 335 were women.
Professor Chee Hing Tan, Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said of the event:
"Girls into Electronics is a fantastic event that will give the students the opportunity to gain experience and I hope develop interest in Electronics. We were really pleased to have hosted this event in previous years, in which we provided a combination of seminars on exciting topics in Electronics and Electrical Engineering, practical sessions to build robots, tours of research facilities and speaking to our students and staff. Feedback from participants showed that they enjoyed and valued the experience which has helped them to understand Electronics. I am sure the event will offer a great experience for new participants this year and I am looking forward to meeting them".
The UKESF and Apple have launched the initiative to support 400 students to gain insight into Electronics, in an effort to address the skills shortage and to help improve gender imbalance in the sector. Making advances in areas like electronics and semiconductors will be critical to providing technological solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society, including climate change, improving healthcare, and better connectivity and communications. Initiatives like Girls into Electronics are important to encourage more students from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in this vital profession.
A strong Electronics and ‘deep tech’ industry is essential to the health of the UK economy but we know that the UK has a skills shortage in this critical sector. That’s why it’s great to see the work that the UKESF is doing encouraging more young people to pursue careers as Electronics Engineers. In particular, their Girls into Electronics initiative has the potential to make a real difference and it is something that we strongly support.
Chi Onwurah MP
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
This year's event in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield will take place on Thursday 6th July. This will be held in the Diamond building, the university's state-of-the-art space for teaching practical skills to engineers. The day is fully catered and equipped with interactive activities including the following: a tour of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering section of the university campus, a lab session where participants will build a simple Arduino-based electronic system, a computing session to programme our intelligent MiRo robots, a sample lecture from a senior academic, and an opportunity to win a prize as part of a fun competition to round off the day! The event is being coordinated by Dr. Rola Saad, University Teacher in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.
The day will also feature a Q&A session where participants will meet our current students and learn from their experiences, in addition to hearing from our admissions tutor and a UKESF scholar. The microcontroller introduction relates to the Grove Beginners’ Kit, including Arduino, which participants are provided with and is theirs to keep.
Students can register to take part in events at any of the participating universities on the UKESF website (ukesf.org).
For any questions about the University of Sheffield event in particular, please contact Dr. Rola Saad ( email@example.com )
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