In recognition of ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ (23 June 2017), we've been speaking to some of the students on our Future Brunels programme, hearing why they think it's important to celebrate women in engineering.
The five-year rolling programme aims to encourage not only girls, but young people, to develop new skills in, and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and maths. The project content is inspired by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel as well as today’s engineering and science heroes.
Future Brunel pupil Ollie-May Woodland, a Year 10 student, commented: "I have so much more confidence because I am a Future Brunel. When I go home I tell my Mum everything about the Future Brunel days; I've done this so much now my little sister wants to be an engineer and she's only 10!"
Future Brunel graduate, Hollie Malin, also said: "Before becoming a Future Brunel I used to think all scientists were 'odd'. Now I realise that its scientists and engineers that run the world! And it's not only men that have high powered positions but there are plenty of opportunities for women too!"
Beth Killen, also a Future Brunel graduate, added: "Future Brunels has enlighted me to the broad range of career paths that science and engineering can offer and has given me the confidence to pursue a career in engineering."
The Future Brunels have access to sites that bring science and engineering alive. Trips have included going inside the abutments at the Clifton Suspension bridge, exploring the future of composite materials at Dymag and the National Composite Centre, learning about metrology, medical engineering and innovation at Renishaw, exploring aeronautical engineering with a tour at Rolls-Royce, discovering the hidden science and engineering behind an everyday process with a trip to Wessex Water sewage treatment works and exploring The Shard with one of the engineers involved in its design and construction.
The programme continues to encourage the next generation of innovators as the project recruits new students every year. Many of the graduates are now embarking on further education and pathways in science, technology, engineering and maths. Who knows how these Future Brunels will change the world in the footsteps of their namesake?
The Future Brunels programme has been generously supported by the Lloyd's Register Foundation.