International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), brought to you by Women's Engineering Society (WES) will celebrate its 9th year on Thursday 23rd June 2022.
INWED gives women engineers around the world a profile when they are still hugely under-represented in their professions. As the only platform of its kind, it plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.
Figures as of June 2021 show that 16.5% of engineers are women.
Here at Heriot-Watt we have celebrated achievements over the past few years of some of our top women in engineering.
In March this year, Professor Gabriela Medero was appointed as a Hydro Nation Chair (HNC) Research Leader Fellow with the mission of Eliminating Carbon Emissions from Infrastructure.
The HNC programme brings together four research leader fellowships and is funded by Scottish Water through the Scottish Funding Council. The programme is designed to enable Scottish Water and the wider water sector to transition beyond net zero by 2040.
And just today, it was announced that Professor Medero, creator of a ground-breaking recycled brick, has been chosen as one of this year's Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50).
Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer Associate Principal (Global Sustainability) and UKRI's Industrial Decarbonisation Champion at Heriot-Watt University, was awarded the ACES-Margarita Salas Awards in its first edition, in the category of Physics, Mathematics and Engineering in November 2021.
The ACES-Margarita Salas Award recognizes the scientific work carried out by researchers of Spanish nationality with significant international impact.
She was also named in the Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2020.
In 2019 Raffaella Ocone, Professor of Chemical Engineering of Heriot-Watt University was announced as one of the top 100 Most Influential Women in the Engineering Sector.
The leading IChemE Fellow was also awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to engineering in Her Majesty The Queen's 2019 New Year's Honours list.
And it's not just our staff who are an inspiration to young women and girls in Engineering.
This week, Jairis Alvarez Trujillo, one of our architecture students who represented Heriot-Watt University in The Solar Decathlon at Dubai Expo graduated with a Masters in Architectural Engineering with Distinction.
Just recently, the Team ESTEEM champion, has been shortlisted for Engineering student of the year 2022. The awards take place in September.
The 28-year-old, who was born in Panama, plans to help encourage girls in Latin America to take careers in STEM and be a good example to the girls in her country.
Jairis said: “My plan is to create an online presence to encourage girls in Latin America to take careers in STEM because there is still a lack of education on that matter.
“For example, I waited 6 years to study engineering because I thought I was not good enough and we don't have support groups in which girls can ask questions about careers opportunities. I would like to be an example to all girls in my country, that in few years are going to choose their careers, so I want to support them as well. Moreover, to show them that it is okay to be afraid but that should not stop you to follow your dreams. I believe that a career in STEM opens your mind to new horizons.”
More on Jairis's achievements here
For more information on INWED visit - https://www.inwed.org.uk/
We have a number of active networks and initiatives at the university that support women in engineering and in other STEM disciplines. Get involved here: https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/equality-diversity/athena-swan/women-in-stem.htm