1. BIRDS Satellite Project Receives the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award

The BIRDS Satellite Project from the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan and represented by Taiwo Tejumola was selected as the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Recipient. The 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 other two runners-up included the Discover Engineering Programme at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering in Canada and the Women in Engineering Programme at he University of New South Wales in Australia.

Representatives from the three finalist projects presented their initiatives to a jusry 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.

“One of the Award criteria is for projects with the potential to be successfully replicated in other institutions and countries. All three of our 2017 finalist projects have made a significant impact in increasing the diversity of students pursuing engineering studies, and my hope is that my fellow GEDC members will be inspired to initiate similar projects in their home institutions and in their countries,” said Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, USA, and Chairperson of the GEDC.

BIRDS Satellite Project represented by Taiwo Tejumola selected as the winning project for the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award in Niagara Falls, Canada

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”.

Now in its 5th edition, the Award was developed in partnership between the GEDC and Airbus, and this year was granted UNESCO patronage. It aims to shine a light on successful projects which have encouraged more people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. Diversity has become an increasingly prominent metric for business success, with 69% of executives rating diversity and inclusion an important issue in 2017, up from 59% in 2014 (Deloitte, Human Capital Trends, 2017)

“Diversity is a cornerstone of our business and an indispensable component for our continued success,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, upcoming Executive Vice President (EVP) of Engineering Airbus Commercial Aircraft, member of Airbus’ Diversity and Inclusion Steering Board, and Patron of the Award. "Diversity is not just important; it’s part of Airbus’ DNA. We are committed to further encouraging and enabling all types of diversity to maintain a high level of innovation in our industry. Our partnership with the GEDC is one illustration of this commitment, as we work together to identify successful projects like the one that has just been awarded to develop our next generation of diverse global engineers.”

For the 2017 edition, 45 projects were submitted, from 18 countries and 39 institutions.

From left to right: Peter Kilpatrick (GEDC Chair 2015-2017 and McCloskey Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, USA), Marie Paule Roudil (Director of the UNESCO Liason Office in New York, USA), Jean-Brice Dumont (incoming Executive Vice President of Engineering Airbus Commerical Aircraft, France) and Taiwo Tejumola (Project Manager for the BIRDS Satellite Project at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan).

 

2017 Finalists

2017 Recipient

BIRDS Satellite Project - JAPAN 

Kyushu Institute of Technology

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 program in their respective home countries. The collaborative program provides a unique opportunity for young engineers to compete in today’s global market, teaching specialized 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 globalization of engineering skills.

 
Discover Engineering Programme at the Schulich School of Engineering - CANADA

University of Calgary

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 program 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.

Discover Engineering Programme
WIE: Women in Engineering Programme - AUSTRALIA

University of New South Wales

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 program 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.

Women in Engineering Programme at the University of New South Wales 

 2017 Jury

  • Jean-Brice Dumont, upcoming Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus Commercial Aircraft, member of Airbus’ Diversity and Inclusion Steering Board, and Patron of the Award
  • Peter Kilpatrick, Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of Engineering, University of Notre Dame, USA and GEDC Chair
  • Marie Paule Roudil, Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office, New York
  • Tania Bueno, Chair of the Scientific Council - Research - Electronic Government Institute - i3G, Brazil and IFEES Member
  • Hélène Séguinotte, ICD.D., Corporate Director
  • Prof. Theo Andrew, Executive Dean, Durban University of Technology, South Africa and GEDC Executive Member