The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and AESSEAL, manufacturer of mechanical seals and support systems, have donated £50,000 to The University of Sheffield to increase the number of women studying and working in engineering. According to IMechE the donation will fund activities including inspiring female primary aged children about engineering. It follows the University’s faculty of engineering’s recent launch of Engineering Is, a campaign aimed at encouraging more young people to study engineering.
The Institution states that it is currently predicted that engineering companies will need 182,000 people to enter the industry per year to 2022, but that there is a current annual shortfall of 55,000 skilled workers. The shortage of women in engineering roles is even more acute.
Dr Rachael Rothman, faculty director for women in engineering in the faculty of engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “Engineering is a hugely varied and exciting career and through this project we aim to provide role models so many more children want to be engineers when they grow up. In terms of engineering progression, only 8% of engineering professors are female and we aim to increase this to 20% by 2025, in line with the proportion of females lower down the career ladder.”
The AESSEAL donation will be administered by IMechE over a two-year period and will fund three key activities. These include building on existing resources to inspire primary aged children; providing tutorial support for female students who have not studied physics at A level; and recruiting and retaining female engineering talent in Sheffield by helping female academics to progress to professorial roles through tailored support. More information is available at imeche.org