GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Inspiring diversity in engineering

The GEDC Airbus Diversity Award aims to shine a light on successful projects which have encouraged more young people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. The award was developed and funded by Airbus in partnership with the GEDC, the leading international organisation for leaders of schools and colleges of engineering education. For this fifth anniversary edition, the award has been placed under UNESCO patronage.

About the Award

The long term goal of the GEDC Airbus Diversity Award is to increase diversity among the global community of engineers so that the engineering industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports, with diversity recognised as a driver for innovation and growth.

GEDC Airbus Diversity Award 2013 - 2017

What is the Global Engineering Deans Council?

Airbus is a corporate member of the GEDC (Global Engineering Deans Council). This is a leading global organisation whose members are individuals responsible for setting the agenda for higher education in engineering in their countries and universities. 

What Do We Mean by Diversity?

Based on The American Society for Engineering Education definition, diversity is the inclusion of individuals that represent variations in gender, race, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, nationality and other non-visible differences resulting in an environment rich in intellectual variety and respect for the individual, and optimally suited to address the technological, business and societal needs of the future.

Who Can Apply?

For the 2017 Award we looked for specific projects that have made a measurable difference in increasing inclusion and diversity amongst engineering students. Entries were made online by any individual or team working with or in an engineering college / faculty, whose project has demonstrated tangible results in bringing more diversity amongst engineering students and/or graduates. Students were not eligible for this award.

Shortlisted projects were required to provide a support letter from a Dean of Engineering. 

What Does The Award Recipient Receive?

Three project representatives were invited to attend the GEDC Annual Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada, from the 10 -13th October 2017 to present their finalist projects. The recipient of the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award received 10,000 USD to help further develop their project and the two runners up each received 1,500 USD to support the promotion of their project.

2017 Winner

A huge congratulations to the BIRDS Satellite Project from the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan on winning the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award

Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology’s BIRDS Satellite Project was selected as the recipient of the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award, with the Schulich School of Engineering: Discover Engineering Programme at Canada’s University of Calgary and the Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme at the University of New South Wales in Australia as runners up.

Taiwo Tejumola from the Kyushu Institute of Technology, presented the project to a Jury of industry experts and distinguished guests, as well as 200 international engineering education leaders gathered for the 2017 GEDC Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada. The three finalist projects were evaluated on the basis of the impact of their work, evidence of generating results and the possibility to be scaled-up. The winning project was awarded US$ 10,000, and the runners up US$ 1,500.

Speaking at the Award Ceremony, Taiwo said that "The BIRDS Project team at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan appreciates this recognition. Our collaborative programme provides a unique opportunity for young engineers to compete in today’s global market, teaching specialised waste-minimising systems engineering models, developing core skills and building a supportive peer network. The project also creates a sustainable pathway for participants to implement training initiatives in their home countries, further contributing to the diversification and globalisation of engineering skills”.

The esteemed 2017 Jury members representing Airbus, Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), UNESCO and Industry.

Evaluation and Criteria

Here’s where you can find out more about the process, criteria and timeline for 2017 entries. 

Evaluation Process

  • Entries for the 2017 award closed on Wednesday 12 July 2017
  • After all entries were received, an Evaluation Committee made up of Airbus, GEDC, and UNESCO members selected a shortlist. All shortlisted entries were required to have their selection formally supported by a Dean of Engineering
  • 11 shortlisted projects were selected for the 2017 Award.
  • 3 project representatives were invited to present their projects at the  Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) annual conference in Niagara Falls, Canada. 
  • 5 Jury members representing Airbus, Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), UNESCO and Industry selected the winning project. 

Evaluation Criteria

The Award Committee were looking for projects that have made an impact with their work with the resources available, who could provide evidence of generating results and show the potential to be replicated elsewhere, or developed on a bigger scale.

We encouraged applicants to review the application form fully understand what the Award Committee were looking for. This includes:

  • Description of the initiative(s), including the origin, approach, implementation and stakeholder involvement.
  • Documented evidence of what was actually done.
  • Clear explanation of the candidate’s/team’s contribution to the initiative and role throughout the project.
  • Impact of the initiative, relative to the resources available to the candidate/team, with qualitative and quantitative examples of how the impact has been measured
  • Transferability, including how he initiative(s) could be leverages for greater scope or reach, or transferred for use in another environment.
  • Evidence of the potential to continue and develop the work further

Timeline for the 2017 Award

  • Call for entries to 12 July 2017
  • Shortlisted candidates announced: August 2017
  • Finalists announced: September 2017
  • Award Ceremony at the GEDC Annual Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada, 10 - 13 October 2017
  • Winning project announced: 12 October 2017

Inspiring Initiatives

Get inspired by our previous Award recipients and finalists

& Find out more about their work

Fadi Aloul, 2015 Diversity Award Recipient, Adelaide, Australia

"Diversity and inclusion are real business assets; they boost the innovation mind-set that we need to develop the future of aviation. We want to inspire the next generation to take up engineering.” - Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering and member of the Award Jury

“The growing demand for engineers worldwide means we must attract more talented young people to the industry. Our finalists demonstrate remarkable commitment in creating initiatives that made a real difference in attracting a more diverse group of students to study and complete engineering degrees.” - John Beynon, Immediate Past-Chair of the GEDC and Dean of Engineering, University of Adelaide, Australia 

The GEDC Airbus Diversity Award in the media

Morgan’s Yacob Astatke Recognized for International Achievements in Engineering Education

Congratulations to Morgan State University’s Yacob Astatke, D.Eng., for being selected as the 2016 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award recipient by aeronautics firm Airbus Group and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC). Dr. Astatke, the interim associate dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Clarence Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering, was chosen from among 40 candidates from 17 countries for his work in engineering education and, specifically, his efforts to improve the delivery of engineering education in Africa.

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Marita Cheng at the world’s first in-flight Tech Talk

Marita Cheng, 2014 Award Recipient spoke at the world’s first in-flight Tech Talk, from Sydney to San Francisco. Marita is the founder of Robogals Global, which inspires girls aged 10-14 to choose engineering and technical careers.

Read the article and Watch the video

Renetta Tull at the Third International Conference on Transformations in Engineering Education, India

Renetta Tull, 2015 shortlist candidate took the stage for GEDC and Airbus in India, focusing on diversity in engineering at the Third International Conference on Transformations in Engineering Education, January 2016 in Pune, India. 

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