Our women in engineering

Wall of Women

It's National Women in Engineering Day #NWED2016 – let's celebrate!

National Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the career opportunities in this exciting industry. The sub-theme for 2016 is #RaisingProfiles. We celebrate by showcasing just some of our talented colleagues past and present. 

There are many inspiring stories from our talented female engineers on our Wall of Women. Three colleagues have recently been featured in Where Women Work – follow the links below to read the full features. 

Claire Corkhill

Dr Claire Corkhill Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow

"I think I’m really lucky to be working at that interface to try and solve a really big problem – how we safely dispose of all the nuclear waste we have in the UK."

Rachael Elder

Dr Rachael Elder, Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering

"One of the great things about my research is that I can explain it to anybody I meet. Everyone understands that Carbon Dioxide is a problem in the atmosphere."

Sheila Macneil

Sheila MacNeil, Professor of Tissue Engineering

"Engineers are problem solvers, whether they’re male or female engineers."

Rise to the top

Eloise Shaw is an apprentice at our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Training Centre. 

Earlier this year we celebrated National Apprenticeship Week which focused on helping young people rise to the top by encouraging them to find out how an apprenticeship could help them succeed in an exciting career in engineering.

We talked to some of the AMRC Training Centre’s current apprentices about how their apprenticeships are helping them to achieve their career goals and dreams.

Eloise said: “My employer asked in my interview if I would want to further develop and do the foundation degree, I want to go as far as I can. I like to do design so I might look at CAD."

Eloise Shaw

Our commitment to gender equality

Earlier this year we were awarded a silver institutional Athena SWAN award for our ongoing commitment to gender equality.

This award also recognised our award-winning departments. This year Animal & Plant Sciences had their silver award renewed and Materials Science & Engineering, and Chemistry received silver awards which means that all of our science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) departments, plus Archaeology, hold an Athena SWAN award.

In recognition of these achievements we have been chosen to host the National Athena SWAN Awards Ceremony on 30 June 2016. Look out for coverage of the event from @sheffunistaff

Pictured: On Monday 20 June, Engineering hosted an Athena Swan Champions event. 

One of the greatest women in engineering

Sheffield graduate Amy Johnson became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. She set off from Croydon on 5 May 1930 and landed in Darwin, Australia, just a mere 19 days later on 24 May 1930, after covering a distance of 11,000 miles. When she arrived back in the UK she received a much deserved hero’s welcome, culminating in her being awarded a CBE for her efforts.

Amy’s flying career began at the London Aeroplane Club in the winter of 1928-29 and her hobby soon became an all-consuming determination to prove that women could be as competent as men in a somewhat male dominated field. After her incredible solo flight her first important achievement was to qualify as the first British-trained woman ground engineer – the only woman in the world to do so at this time. She was also the president of the Women's Engineering Society between 1935 and 1937.

Amy’s legend has long lived on since her death in 1941. Her talent and determination can be recognised by everyone but especially by women looking to embark on new paths and undertake study or careers in engineering. Amy Johnson was a pioneering British aviator and an inspirational engineer.

Amy Johnson

Fact: Only nine per cent of the engineering workforce is female (Women's Engineering Society)