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13 March 2013
Commercial Aircraft

Airbus and the GEDC join forces to encourage diversity in engineering classrooms worldwide


Call for nominations opens with ten thousand USD award for diversity champion

Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer and the GEDC (Global Engineering Deans Council), the leading global organisation for engineering education, have opened the call for nominations for the inaugural GEDC Airbus Diversity Award. The initiative aims to reward individuals who have been pro-active in bringing more diversity into engineering classrooms around the world.
The long term aim is to ensure that industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports. This means more balance between men and women, more diversity in social and cultural backgrounds, and equal opportunities for comparable skills for disabled people. The strong demand for engineers globally means that industry must attract and secure an increasingly diverse talent pool to continue to innovate and build the world of tomorrow.
Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer EADS and Airbus, said “We know that diversity helps to foster the innovation, performance and engagement which are essential for our industry. Airbus is taking the lead to ensure that we inspire enough young people worldwide from different backgrounds to take up engineering.”
Sarah Rajala, Dean, College of Engineering, Iowa State University and Chair of the GEDC, added “The Award Committee is looking for initiatives which have delivered results and could be developed regionally or even globally. We hope that other institutions will take up the challenge to ensure that engineering graduates and professionals reflect the society in which we live, work and teach.”
Nominations will be accepted until 31st May 2013. The award will be presented during the GEDC Annual Conference in Chicago, USA, in October 2013. The award recipient will benefit from 10K USD from Airbus to support the continuation of their work.
Details about the nomination process and requirements for participation are available at

Notes to Editors
Airbus is a corporate member of the GEDC whose members are individuals responsible for setting the agenda for higher education in engineering in their countries and universities.

The Diversity Award Committee
The Diversity Award Committee is responsible for the design of the award process and criteria, and the selection of a shortlist of nominees to be considered. The members are:
·        Rachel Schroeder - Head of Employment Marketing for Airbus and Head of Employment Marketing Strategy for EADS
·        Mary Frost - Airbus Senior Expert, Engineering
·        John Beynon - Dean of Engineering, University of Adelaide, Australia
·        Alaa K. Ashmawy - Dean of Engineering, American University in Dubai
·        Laura J. Steinberg - Dean, Syracuse University, College of Engineering and Computer Science, USA

 The Award Process
·        All entries received by 31st May 2013 will be evaluated by the Award Committee using the criteria which can be found in the call for entries documents on the GEDC website.
·        Up to 10 shortlisted candidates will be presented to the Evaluation Committee made up of senior representatives from industry and academia (members to be announced in April)
·        The Evaluation Committee will select three nominees who will all be invited to the GEDC Annual Conference in Chicago in October 2013 to present their project. The recipient of the Award will be announced during the conference at a gala dinner dedicated to diversity in engineering.

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