Women in engineering: Girls, robots and bionic hands

UNSW is hosting Power of Engineering – a full day of events, talks, workshops and hands-on activities for 160 girls in Years 9 and 10.
Wilson da Silva | UNSW Newsroom
Power of Engineering Day is one of the activities held by UNSW Engineering to encourage female students to consider a career in the field.

Australia’s biggest engineering faculty is hosting Power of Engineering – a full day of events, talks, workshops and hands-on activities for 160 girls in Years 9 and 10 next Monday, 6 July.

The events at UNSW include programming robots, building bionic hands, designing housing for the developing world, erecting wind turbines – as well as inspirational talks from female engineers and students across the disciplines. 

Among the speakers will be Sally-Ann Williams of Google, Janine Sidhome of engineering consultants Arup, as well as female engineers from Transurban, Downer EDI and Seymour Whyte.

The 160 students taking part have all been selected for their interest in maths and science, and the program – funded by UNSW and staffed by 50 female student volunteers – aims to introduce them to the diversity of careers in engineering. 

Along with the hands-on workshops and presentations by female engineering graduates, the university’s Women in Engineering club will be holding a BBQ for the girls so they can get to know female engineering students and ask questions.

“Women make a significant contribution to engineering in Australia, but – proportionately – they are under-represented in academia and other parts of the profession,” says Professor Mark Hoffman, the new Dean of UNSW Engineering. 

“Nationally, the proportion of women working in the profession is 13%. While we’re proud that among UNSW academic staff it’s 21.5%, we all need to do better.”

Students attending, as well as current UNSW female engineering students and graduates, and some speakers, will be available for interview, photography or filming. 

Event details       What: Power of Engineering Day (for Girls in Years 9 and 10)      When: 9am-4pm, Monday 6 July 2015      Where: Colombo Theatres, UNSW Kensington Campus (adjacent Gate 4, High St)