Honour for outstanding Bioengineering student

VC Keith Burnett with Saheela Mohammed

Saheela Mohammed, (pictured here with the University of Sheffield's Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett), the recipient of the 2017 Chancellor’s Medal, was honoured with the award during her graduation ceremony this week (Tuesday 18 July 2017) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Faculty of Engineering, the University and the wider community of Sheffield.

As a Student Ambassador for the Department of Bioengineering, Saheela has worked tirelessly to address the gender imbalance of engineering, raising the profile of the subject as a career choice for women and inspiring the next generation of female engineers.

Professor Stephen Matcher, Bioengineering Course Director at the University of Sheffield, said: “During her time at Sheffield, Saheela has been an energetic champion for reaching out to others. She has sought to draw interested young people into STEM through her work on outreach programmes and has enthusiastically joined the battle to get more women involved in all branches of engineering.”

During her time as a student in Sheffield, Saheela also led a collaboration with the student societies’ Women in Engineering and Engineers without Borders to deliver 130 STEM outreach workshops to Year 8 students.

“Sheffield will always be a special place for me as I have met the most determined people during my time here, who want each other to succeed.

saheela mohammed, bioengineering graduate & winner of 2017 chancellor's medal

She also played an important role in promoting the children’s book, “Suzie and Ricky – The Crash Landing, created by the Women in Engineering student society at the University of Sheffield. The book introduces children and their families to engineering and was distributed free of charge to hundreds of primary school children throughout South Yorkshire and the UK. The book was also the inspiration of the “Engineering Is…” campaign that launched in November 2016 at the Houses of Parliament.

"To be the recipient of the prestigious Chancellor's Medal is a great honour and surprise,” said Saheela.

“Education is so important in making a positive impact and I have enjoyed being able to make my contribution through the STEM outreach initiatives offered at the University of Sheffield and hope to continue this in the future.

“Sheffield will always be a special place for me as I have met the most determined people during my time here, who want each other to succeed.

“Having worked extensively with the University’s Women in Engineering team, I am incredibly thankful for their support and guidance in providing workshops and networking opportunities to children and university students. There is a gender gap in engineering and I am proud to have played a part in addressing it."

Faculty Director for Women in Engineering, Dr Gwen Reilly said "Saheela has worked with young women at all age groups becuase it is important that girls realise early on that engineering is a great career, it is encouraging to see that more female school pupils now consider engineering to be a suitable career for them and that must be related outreach work Saheela and her peers are doing to demonstrate the creative and innovative aspects of engineering"

On top of this, Saheela has also participated in several open days, primary and secondary school outreach programmes, mentoring schemes and STEM visits as an inspirational role model and advocate for women in engineering. 

Notes to editors

The Department of Bioengineering at Sheffield

To find out more about studying Bioengineering at the University of Sheffield please visit: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/bioengineering/home

Engineering is

The "Engineering is" campaign, launched by the University of Sheffield and backed by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, includes a children’s book written by student engineers from the university as well as online games, lesson plans for teachers and information on different engineering careers.
It aims to challenge perceptions of engineering and inspire primary school children, particularly young girls, to consider studying engineering at university.