The GEDC Airbus Diversity Award recognises the people and projects worldwide which have encouraged students of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. Together, Airbus and the GEDC want to shine a light on good practice around the world and to inspire others to replicate successful initiatives in their own institutions.
2016 Award - Seoul, South Korea
Three finalists were selected to present their projects to a distinguished jury at the WEEF and GEDC Conference, to be held in Seoul, Korea from 6 - 10 November 2016. The finalists have been honored at the Diversity Award dinner, as part of a gala evening on 7 November celebrating diversity in engineering education, where the 2016 Award recipient has been announced. As the winner of the 2016 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award, Dr Yacob Astatke was awarded USD 10,000 and the two others short-listed candidates with USD 1,500 each. This was intended to both recognise their work in the field to date, and support their continuing initiatives.
Announcing the 2016 winner
Airbus and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), have named Dr Yacob Astatke, from Morgan State University in the USA, as the recipient of the 2016 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award for his work in engineering education.
2016 Award - Finalists and Recipient
As well as our 2016 Award recipient, Dr Yacob Astatke, two other remarkable finalists were selected for the 2016 GEDC Diversity Award. Through their work, they have developed initiatives, led programmes and implemented changes which have positively impacted diversity within the global engineering community.
Dawn Bonfield - 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.
Yacob Astatke, 2016 Award Recipient – Dr. Yacob Astatke is Interim Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies 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.
Mary Wells - Professor Mary Wells is Chair of the Ontario Network for Women in Engineering (ONWiE) and the Associate Dean, Engineering Outreach at the University of Waterloo in Canada. She 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%.
2016 Award - Shortlist
Five other candidates were shortlisted for the 2016 GEDC Diversity Award.
Susan Daniel - Susan Daniel is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Cornell University in the USA, where she has created a dynamic and effective cadre of graduate women in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE Women), offering opportunities for their professional development, networking, and leadership. CBE Women hosts an annual outreach programme for rural families, called WOMEN, that exposes rural, economically-disadvantaged families to STEM career pathways, resulting in a record increase in women from rural areas attending college.
Cécile Latournerie - Cécile Latournerie manages the ‘OSE l’ISAE-SUPAERO’ programme at ISAE-SUPAERO in France. The initiative, supported by the 'Fondation ISAE-SUPAERO' and the 'GIFAS', promotes equality in higher education by encouraging secondary school students to be ‘college ready’. Target students come from lower socio-economic backgrounds. ISAE-SUPAERO student volunteers play a significant role in delivering the programme, whilst gaining valuable experience of diversity. The work focuses on three areas: social and cultural diversity, gender equality and disability.
Juan Carlos de la Llera - Juan Carlos de la Llera is Dean of Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile. He has developed and implemented a special admission and academic support initiative to increase diversity and talent in the School of Engineering: The Talent and Inclusion (T&I) programme. There are currently 479 talented undergraduate students with 100% scholarships from very low income families enrolled in the School of Engineering. The initiative has significantly increased the number of students coming from public schools, from outside the capital and also the number of female students.
Ann Lourens - Dr Ann Lourens is head of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa. Ann has a keen research interest in the development and retention of students, and particularly women engineering students. Along with a team of colleagues, Ann developed and manages Women Engineering Leadership Association (WELA). The two-year WELA Leadership Development Programme (LDP) provides academic, personal and developmental support to women engineering students. The aim of the WELA LDP is to develop and retain women engineering students and prepare them for the world of work.
Ebony McGee - Ebony McGee is Assistant Professor of Education, Diversity and STEM Education at Vanderbilt University in the USA, where she leads the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative (EDEFI). This initiative is focused on understanding the institutional, technical, social, and cultural factors that impact career choices for Black engineering doctoral students, the ways in which those factors contribute to the underrepresentation of Black people in engineering faculty positions and what changes can be implemented to effectively address the gap.
Introducing the 2016 Jury
The esteemed 2016 jury evaluated the finalists’ projects on 7 November and selected this year’s Award recipient.
Charles Champion – Patron of the Diversity Award and President of Airbus Operations SAS & Executive Vice President Engineering. He is responsible for research & technology, overall product architecture and concept development, the design office, integration & flight-testing and continued product airworthiness. He is a member of the Airbus Executive Committee.
Peter Kilpatrick - As Chairperson 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 Chairperson of the Global Engineering Deans Council.
Qidi Wu - Professor Wu holds a number of senior government and engineering education roles in China, which include Professor and Director at Tsinghua University, Chairperson of the CEEAA, Director of the International Center for Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO (ICEE) and Director of the Department of Management Sciences of NSFC.
Soonja Choe - The first female President of Inha University, South Korea, Professor Choe has taught and conducted research in the Department of Chemical Engineering for 29 years. She has served as president of the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations, and in 2006 she was the first woman to obtain full membership in the National Academy of Engineering of Korea.
Sirin Tekinay - Dr. Tekinay is Rector and Professor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Işık University. She is one of the pioneers of the five-dimensional STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) approach to education and research. She is an active member of several European associations and on the Executive Committee of the Global Engineering Deans Council – GEDC.
About the Award
The long-term aim 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, and the wide-ranging work that engineers do.
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?
We’re looking for individuals and projects that have made a measurable difference in increasing diversity and inclusion amongst engineering students and graduates. Applicants can be someone from outside academia, working in collaboration with an institution. Students are not eligible for this award.
Shortlisted candidates will need a Dean of Engineering to support their application.
What Does The Award Recipient Receive?
Three successful finalists will be invited to attend the WEEF & GEDC Conference in Seoul, Korea, from the 6th – 10th November 2016. The recipient of the GEDC Airbus Diversity Award will receive 10,000 USD and the two runners up will each receive 1,500 USD.
Evaluation and Criteria
- Candidates were invited to submit their applications by 5 September 2016.
- After all applications were received, the judging panel selected 8 shortlisted candidates. The shortlist was announced in October 2016. At this stage, all shortlisted candidates were required to have their selection formally supported by a Dean of Engineering.
- Eight candidates have been shortlisted for the 2016 Award. Three finalists have been selected to present their projects to a distinguished jury at the WEEF and GEDC Conference, to be held in Seoul, Korea from 6 - 10 November 2016. The finalists will be celebrated at the Diversity Award dinner, as part of a gala evening celebrating diversity in engineering education, where the 2016 Award recipient will be announced.
The Award Committee will be looking for candidates who have made an impact with their work with the resources available, who can provide evidence that their initiatives have or are generating results and who submit ideas with the potential to be replicated elsewhere, or developed on a bigger scale.
We encourage potential candidates to review the application form to fully understand what the Award Committee is 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, with qualitative and quantitative examples of how the impact has been measured.
- Transferability, including how the initiative(s) could be leveraged for greater scope or reach, or transferred for use in another environment.
- Evidence of the potential to continue and develop the work further.
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
Future engineers A lesson in diversity
In an increasingly competitive world, savvy businesses are embracing diversity in their workforce in order to choose from the largest and most diverse set of talented candidates.Read more
"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
Get inspired by our previous Award recipients and finalists
& Find out more about their work
GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Recipients
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
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,
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.
The GEDC Airbus Diversity Award in the media
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.