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.
Applications are now closed for the 2017 award and we are delighted to announce that 3 finalist projects have been selected from the initial shortlist. 3 project representatives will present the initiatives at the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) annual conference in Niagara Falls, Canada in October 2017.
The project representatives will have the opportunity to present their work to a distinguished international jury and to the conference audience. The finalists will be honoured at the Diversity Award dinner, as part of a gala evening on 11 October celebrating diversity in engineering education, where the 2017 Award recipient will be announced.
The project will be awarded 10,000USD, with two runners-up receiving 1,500USD each to support the communication of their work.
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”.
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.
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 will be 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 will receive 10,000USD to help further develop their project and the two runners up will each receive 1,500USD to support the promotion of their project.
Introducing three remarkable projects that have been selected by Airbus, the GEDC and UNESCO for the 2017 Diversity Award final.
UNSW Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme
University of NSW, Australia
The Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme aims to break down barriers and raise awareness of Engineering opportunities for women; improving recruitment and retention of female engineers through outreach, scholarships and opportunities at all academic levels, from school student to professional engineers. The programme delivers a comprehensive range of workshops and activities targeted at changing the image of engineering among female students, parents, employers, and teachers. Also focussed at raising awareness amongst industry, and helping companies achieve their diversity goals and transformations. Alumni and industry partners are engaged as speakers, mentors and sponsors. The project’s mission is to address gender imbalance and create a strong community of support and guidance for engineering students at a national level.
The Schulich School of Engineering: Discover Engineering Programme
The Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada
Discover Engineering is a teaching initiative used to introduce secondary level students to engineering. 25 trained student facilitators, primarily from underrepresented groups themselves, lead engineering career workshops for Grade 11 and 12 students. The programme goal is to increase the diversity of future University of Calgary students; helping students to develop a deeper understanding of engineering, introducing them to the wide range of career paths, and demonstrating how engineers solve problems in society. Additionally, Discover Engineering serves as a teacher learning opportunity, so that educators can provide students with informed career advice and incorporate engineering topics into the classroom.
BIRDS Satellite Project
The Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu, Japan
The BIRDS Satellite Project trains graduate students from developing countries in using cost-effective innovative systems engineering to execute a comprehensive two-year satellite project, with the long-term goal of equipping them to commence a sustainable space programme in their respective home countries. The 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 also 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 has also been announced. They will evaluate the projects on 10 October and select this year’s winning project.
Executive Vice President Engineering, Airbus Helicopters, named as Executive Vice Present Engineering at Airbus Commercial Aircraft, and Patron of the Award
Jean-Brice Dumont will take up his new position at Airbus Commercial Aircraft in January 2018. He was previously Executive Vice President, Engineering for Airbus Helicopters, where he was in charge of defining the long-term R&D strategy in line with the company’s product policy. Between 2008 and 2012, he was Eurocopter Chief Engineer of the NH90 helicopter program and technical director of NH Industries.
Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of Engineering, University of Notre Dame, USA and GEDC Chair
As Chair of the GEDC, Peter works with engineering deans in 30 countries to leverage the collective strength of the global network to advance engineering education and research. He is the Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and 2016-2017 Chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council.
Marie Paule Roudil
Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office, New York
Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in New York since 2015, Marie Paule Roudil was previously Head of the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels, and the UNESCO representative to the European Union. As the Head of the Culture Section in the UNESCO Office in Venice, she has worked on major UNESCO projects on science and culture, including the development of a culture strategy for South-East Europe. Marie Paule is a qualified lawyer and a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Chairman of the Scientific Council - Research - Electronic Government Institute - i3G, Brazil and GEDC Member
Tania Cristina D’Agostini Bueno is a consultant in knowledge engineering for software development. She is Chairman of the Scientific Council Institute for Electronic Government and Intelligence and Systems - i3G, and special adviser at the Federal Medical Council in Brazil. She is member of the TECLIN project at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and a UNESCO Chair of Linguistic Technologies.
Hélène Séguinotte, ICD.D., is a certified Corporate Director and currently serves on the Board of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, and two other aerospace companies. Hélène has co-founded and is President of the Board of Bleu Blanc Tech. Until June 2017, she was President and CEO of Morpho Canada Inc, a high-tech company leader in biometric safety solutions. Before joining Morpho in 2011, Hélène was appointed Safran's General Delegate for Canada.
Executive Dean, Durban University of Technology, South Africa and GEDC Executive Member
Professor Theo Andrew has served a total of over 18 years as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment and is currently Executive Dean at the Durban University of Technology. He is a Fellow of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers and was a founding member of the Board of the South African Society for Engineering Educators.
Eight other projects were shortlisted for the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award. Through their impact around the world, these projects are making a real difference to the world of engineering education.
2017 Shortlisted Projects
Women’s Outreach in Materials, Energy, and Nanobiotechnology (W.O.M.E.N.)
Cornell University, USA
The W.O.M.E.N. project is an outreach programme introducing economically disadvantaged families from rural upstate New York to career pathways in science and engineering. Graduate students and professors work collaboratively with the target students and their parents in laboratory activities and information sessions. This hands-on experience encourages their interest in engineering studies and equips them with vital knowledge around career paths, college applications and key skills. The project’s goal is to widen participation in engineering studies, creating critical opportunities for women to experience and be inspired by engineering.
STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES)
Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools, USA
SABES aims to provide support for students aged 8-11 in under-resourced urban school districts in the USA that disproportionately enroll racial and ethnic minority students. This educational initiative promotes a wider uptake of technology and engineering studies through the implementation of instructional best practices and by pioneering new approaches, such as student-driven engineering projects. Working with schools and community-based organisations, the project engages students in the engineering design process via exploration and showcase events, increases awareness of STEM career opportunities and available support, and also coaches teachers whilst expanding their content knowledge. SABES has been supported by the US National Science Foundation.
Engineering Volunteers for Rising 9th Graders (eVOL9)
Tickle College of Engineering, USA
eVOL9 aims to promote an awareness and understanding of engineering in rising 9th grade students in Tennessee and surrounding areas. The project engages with pupils through a week-long residential experience, introducing the various fields and career opportunities within engineering through lectures and practical projects. Parents and teachers are also given coaching and support to develop a deep understanding of the academic, practical and financial considerations and the intricacies of the engineering college application process. A unique feature of eVOL9 is the curriculum, which intricately balances skill acquisition, design ingenuity, and projects depicting engineering in everyday life.
The Donofrio Scholars Programme at Syracuse University
The College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University, USA
The Donofrio Scholars Programme aims to improve the retention and graduation rates of women and minority groups in engineering and computer science by providing a cohort-based experience throughout their undergraduate studies and a paid internship at the end of their first year at college. A secondary goal of the project is to prepare students to achieve their goals of job placement or enrolment in graduate school upon completion of their degree, through mentorship and special access to career development schemes. The programme incorporates best practice and research experience, and motivates students by demonstrating the real-world applications of their coursework.
Community-based Project Programme (JCP)
The Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa
The JCP programme introduces engineering students to the concept of social responsibility, promoting an awareness of citizenship and application of key skills in a diverse society through community engagement initiatives. The compulsory programme requires the students to work with partner organisations in the various national and international communities for at least 40 hours, addressing specific needs, completing practical assignments and reflecting on their experience. JCP successfully coordinate and consolidate campus-community partnerships to ensure sustainability community service and already facilitated the learning and assessment of 18000 students who worked in 5000 diverse groups on a variety of projects.
Passeport Avenir, France
Passeport Ingénieur is an educational initiative which promotes equal access to scientific and engineering studies for young people from underprivileged backgrounds. Volunteers from the project’s network of partner organisations work closely with teachers and students at high school and diploma level. They aim to foster ambition, promote wider participation in engineering studies and raise awareness of alternative paths into higher education. Since its launch in 2015, Passeport Ingénieur has helped provide more than 7,300 students from all over France with key skills tutoring, targeted workshops and a network of professional and financial support.
Texas A&M Engineering Academies
The College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, USA
Texas A&M Engineering Academies facilitate unique and innovative co-enrolment partnerships with select two-year institutions across Texas. Their aim is to encourage wider participation in engineering degrees for underrepresented student minorities. Ultimately, the goal is to recruit, retain and graduate a more diverse student body, and to increase access and cost-effectiveness while transforming the educational experience. Campus engagement events embedded in the programme help students develop an institutional and professional identity and adapt to the academic and social environment at the university. The project also works with remote students, providing ongoing academic and professional support and advice.
Serving Underrepresented Students of an Indian Tribal Region
R.C. Patel Institute of Technology, India
The R. C. Patel Institute of Technology, Shirpur has served tribal and girl students of the adjoining tribal belt through a long-term programme. The programme included initiatives such as creating awareness about engineering in K-12, bridge programmes, assisting financially, and training in soft skills. The programme also utilized research-based instructional strategies such as project-based learning and ability grouping. Further, the programme facilitated employability in global market and entrepreneurial careers. The programme has resulted in increase in the percentage of tribal and female student’s enrolment and their academic and professional performances, and will be followed by the second phase.
Evaluation and Criteria
Here’s where you can find out more about the process, criteria and timeline for 2017 entries.
- 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 will be invited to present their finalist projects at the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) annual conference in Niagara Falls, Canada.
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
Get inspired by our previous Award recipients and finalists
& Find out more about their work
GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Recipients
2016 Award Recipient – Dr. Yacob Astatke is Assistant VP for International Affairs at Morgan State University in the USA. For the past 13 years, he has worked to improve the delivery of engineering education in Ethiopia through teaching graduate courses, sharing best practice and delivering training. He led the implementation of Mobile Studio Technology and pedagogy in five universities in Ethiopia and has been instrumental in facilitating the donation of equipment and other resources.
2015 Award recipient – Professor Fadi Aloul from the American University of Sharjah, UAE was selected as the Award recipient for his key role in developing a common first-year programme at the AUS, which introduces undergraduate students to the engineering profession, stimulating their critical thinking, creativity and innovation. To date, over 10,000 students from 92 nationalities have taken part, with an average of 35 percent female students.
2014 Award recipient - Marita Cheng, from Australia, is the founder of Robogals Global, an initiative designed to inspire girls aged 10-14 to choose engineering and technical careers, and to create a global community of engineering students committed to the cause of greater diversity. Through a varied meme of workshops, training, student challenges, a Robogal Ambassador programme and a dedicated outreach programme for rural and regional areas, Robogals has so far reached over 20,000 girls worldwide, utilising a largely volunteer workforce of university students. In six years, it has grown from a single university chapter to an international organisation.
2013 Award recipient - Ana Lazarin, Director of Programme to Broaden Participation in Engineering, Wichita State University, USA. Ana’s Engineering Summer Camps, Changing Faces Programme, and Community Outreach Events capture the interest of underrepresented students by educating them about both the different fields of engineering and what engineers really do. A primary goal is to convince students at an early age that they can succeed in college, and especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. www.wichita.edu/thisis
GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Finalists
2016 Finalist – Dawn Bonfield, former Chief Executive of the UK’s Women’s Engineering Society, UK
Dawn Bonfield MBE is former Chief Executive of the UK’s Women’s Engineering Society, where she created National Women in Engineering Day, a UK national awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the exciting career opportunities available to girls in the engineering sector. Now in its 3rd edition, the event’s success and impact has multiplied with supporters and organisations adopting the Day, carrying out their own initiatives, events and celebrations.
2015 Finalist – Renetta Tull, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Student Development & Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA
Renetta leads the Promise Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate to train undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early-career faculty. This programme includes a global STEM diversity and inclusion initiative, and aims to build global engineering workforce capacity through focused attention on increasing the numbers of future engineering faculty from underrepresented groups and has resulted in a significantly increased pipeline of diverse alumni and engineering programme participants.
2015 Finalist - Martin Baumann, Assistant Professor, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Martin has been selected for his work on enabling students with disabilities and diverse learners to be assessed on an equal basis with all students. He has developed a range of tools to assist students and support teachers, and also works directly with students concerned to create the interfaces and devices required to meet their needs. More than 30,000 students have been able to take adapted e-assessments since 2004.
2014 Finalist Bevlee Watford: Associate Dean, Academic Affairs/Director, CEED, Virginia Tech, USA
Bevlee was selected for her wide-ranging programmes aimed at building an inclusive and diverse engineering student body at Virginia Tech, and now used as a model for institutions throughout the USA. Over 10,000 engineering students, many of them from underrepresented groups have been supported and mentored through the Programme since its inception in 1992.
2014 Finalist - Bryan Hill: Assistant Dean, University of Arkansas College of Engineering, USA
Bryan was chosen as a finalist for his work leading initiatives to recruit and retain underrepresented engineering students through the Engineering Career Awareness Programme (ECAP) at the University of Arkansas (U of A). Between 2007-2014, minority enrolment in engineering programmes at U of A increased by more than 190%, with a 150% rise in female undergraduates.
2013 Finalist - Catherine Pieronek - In Memoriam, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of Women’s Engineering Programme, University of Notre Dame, USA
In response to alarming data about why women were leaving engineering undergraduate courses, Catherine initiated the important changes to enable the programme to be as accessible as possible to women and the broadest possible range of candidates and students.
2013 Finalist - Maria Angeles Martin Prats, Associate Professor, University of Seville, Spain
The main goal of Maria’s initiative was to promote and increase the number of students in engineering, especially women, particularly by create a support network and advice for students and young engineers. As chair of IEEE Women in Engineering, Maria is an advocate for women starting out in their education.
Professor Mary Wells has led a series of ONWiE initiatives to uncover the causes of the continued lack of participation of women in engineering, and developed programmes to address these barriers. ONWiE activities range from work with primary and secondary level girls to programmes for current engineering students. The initiative has boosted female application and entry rates to Ontario engineering programmes by over 200%.
"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
2015 Award - Highlights from the third GEDC Airbus Diversity Award and the Award ceremony during the Global Engineering Deans Council conference in Adelaide, Australia in December 2015.
2014 & 2013 Awards
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.
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.
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.