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Airbus GEDC Diversity Award

for engineering education

Introduction

The Airbus GEDC Diversity Award aims to shine a light on successful projects that inspire students from all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. The award was developed and funded by Airbus in partnership with the GEDC, the leading international organisation for leaders of schools and colleges of engineering education. Launched in 2012, the award is now in its 7th year. 

About the Award

The long-term goal of the Airbus GEDC 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, with diversity recognised as a driver for innovation and growth. We invite you to discover the outstanding initiatives previously shortlisted for the award in the Airbus GEDC Diversity Award e-book.
 

For the 2019 award, three finalists have been invited to Airbus Headquarters in Toulouse, France to present their project to a distinguished Jury and attend the Award Ceremony in the middle of 2020. Find out more about the finalist and shortlisted projects below.

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.

2019 Shortlist

An Award Committee of Airbus employees and GEDC members reviewed 48 entries from 18 countries and 5 continents, the highest number of entries in the history of the award. The committee deemed the quality of entries to be exceptionally high with 14 projects selected for the shortlist.

Collectively, these projects have made engineering career paths more visible and more attainable to over 80,000 students worldwide.

2019 Shortlist

 

Discover more about the exceptional finalists and shortlisted projects

Finalist Projects


York University - Lassonde School of Engineering, Canada

Cross-campus capstone classroom (C4)
York University – Lassonde School of Engineering, Canada

Created by Engineering and Dance faculty members to break down disciplinary barriers between students and explore how diverse teams solve problems together. In its inaugural year, 74 students from 23 programmes from 8 of York's 11 faculties, including 23 fourth-year engineering students from 5 programmes, are working in multidisciplinary teams to create sustainable solutions to 11 social-impact challenges from companies, non-profits, startups, and government-linked organisations. This full-year capstone experience helps students recognise the value of their own disciplinary skills, learn how to work effectively across boundaries and understand that today's problems need us to come together, learn with each other and find our common purpose.

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METID Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Embracing Diversity MOOC

METID Politecnico di Milano, Italy

The course raises awareness of stereotypes related to women and LGBT people, with special attention devoted to the stereotype that STEM studies and careers are only for men. The MOOC considers the effects of discouragement and self-exclusion on female talent - with big repercussions in the world of work - and shares actions useful to motivate more girls to study STEM. It also reports, as best practices, the cases of organisations that promote inclusion to create a fertile, authentic work environment. The MOOC “Embracing Diversity” is hosted on Polimi Open Knowledge Platform, available for free to everyone. 2,000+ users have participated, with 900+ obtaining the certificate of attendance (over 60% completion).

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Northumbria University in the United Kingdom

NUSTEM: Broadening Aspirations to STEM careers in North East England

Northumbria University, United Kingdom

In the UK, under 20% of engineering and technology undergraduates are female. The UK also has the lowest proportion of female engineers in Europe. The North East underperforms this national picture. Established in 2014, NUSTEM represents a radical rethink of university outreach. The initiative, built on robust research, provides sustained, collaborative, inclusive and career-informed interventions with young people from early years onwards, and with their influencers - their families and teachers. NUSTEM now has long-term collaborations with 48 schools in areas of deprivation and has worked with 43,795 children and enabled a further 14,119 interactions with their families and teachers.

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Shortlisted Projects


Wettbewerb "Eine Uni - ein Buch" - RWTH ist eine der geförderten Universitäten

How popular media such as comics and movies can support serious, sustainable and diverse engineering-education.

RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Over one semester, the practical course ‘Media boost Engineering’ guides students to become universally skilled workers and team players. Students work in small diverse teams on a text, comic or video of their choice with a hidden connection to an engineering subject and use scientific methods to analyse the scene. They also receive training in analogue and digital communication, innovative teamwork methods, pitching and presentations. The semester ends with presentations from all teams, with awards given for the most inventive teams. The project encourages students to recognise that engineering is not just about numbers: it’s an attitude. Over 140 students have been impacted so far.

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IEEE YoWIENet ACT

University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia

25% of girls in Australia choose not to study mathematics in their last year of high school, which makes it difficult for them to gain entry to an engineering programme at university. This project has established a network of over 250 young women in their final years of school in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The network provides access to advice from 30 female engineers at different stages in their careers, online information about different types of engineering, and face-to-face networking with peers and mentors. The project has improved girls’ confidence and perception of their ability to succeed in engineering.

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Launch Workshop and Camp Program

University of Toronto, Canada

A multi-faceted outreach initiative. A diverse team of 25 facilitators deliver workshops, a multi-week summer camp and year-long activities for students in schools and community centres in priority areas of the Greater Toronto Area, northern Ontario, and Windsor, New York. Participating community sites receive investment in makerspace resources and tools to extend and embed engagement in STEM. Workshops are offered to teachers to learn how to use and apply these tools. The project focuses on solving 21st century challenges using the engineering design process at the core of a pedagogical approach for K-12 students. Over 3,000 students have been impacted.

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Shaping engineers in diversity: gender equality and internationalization

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

Aims to reduce the gender gap in engineering studies through mentoring programmes and workshops. The target audience is high-school girls between 12 and 18 years old. To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, (UN Sustainable Development Goal 5) the global or international vision is crucial. UC3M is committed to developing an international atmosphere where engineering students from different backgrounds and cultures can work together and learn how to build a better future. The university is collaborating with the best young European universities and promoting the mobility of students and academic staff to other countries. Currently, UC3M offers 1,833 Erasmus places in 29 countries.

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STEMpower training for secondary school students

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

The project provides students in remote African regions with the tools to advance their economic future – including electronics, mechanics, biology and agro tech. They have established 22 STEM Engineering Centers throughout Ethiopia plus the annual Ethiopian National Engineering Fair showcasing middle and high school student entries. A weekly STEM TV show, also accessible on YouTube, reaches students in the remotest areas. During a recent summer outreach programme, more than 60 secondary school students participated for a duration of two months in the area of electronics and programming. Ethiopian university presidents have noted a marked increase in their incoming students' skillsets.

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The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) in the College of Engineering and IT (COEIT)

University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), United States

CWIT has a 21-year record of enabling success for women and underrepresented groups in technology fields. This is achieved through direct student support, community building, research and advocacy, and K-12 pipeline development. CWIT has directly supported 345 scholars in three different programmes (73% women, 25% underrepresented minorities) with scholarships, mentoring (from staff, faculty and industry partners), academic support, professional development and leadership opportunities. CWIT scholars have a retention rate of 95% and a 4-year graduation rate of 70%, well above UMBC averages. The project empowers students to be change agents in creating technology workplaces that are diverse, equitable and inclusive.

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The Tuks Robot Race - enthusing our diverse youth to pursue greatness in engineering

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Students design and build a small robot vehicle that must navigate a maze of colored lines autonomously. The decision to invite family and high-school learners to the first Robot Race in 2013 saw the popularity of the event grow to an attendance of between 1500 and 2000 spectators. Many of these are a diverse assembly of high school learners aspiring to become engineers. The project levels the playing field by enforcing limitations on resources. This ensures that ingenuity and enthusiasm for the profession is key to success rather than individual variation that is irrelevant to one's success as an engineer.

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Weber State University Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (WSU PREP)

Weber State University, United States

A free STEM summer academic programme for 12-14-year-olds. The programme runs five days a week for seven weeks, over three summers, for 21 weeks in total. It offers educational hands-on projects, challenging homework assignments, career awareness presentations, creativity and skill building workshops and Friday field trips. Incoming students who have an interest and aptitude in STEM studies receive an accelerated curriculum in preparation for secondary school, higher education and STEM careers. Coursework includes logic, algebra, statistics, writing, computer science and physics. Over 5 years, 48.5% of participants were female, 20% Latino and 16% Asian, Black, Islander, and other.

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WomEng (Women in Engineering), South Africa

Interventions at critical career development stages for girls from 5 years old to women in industry. Career guidance and STEM awareness workshops on the future of work and the role of engineering and tech; engineering innovation challenges to develop engineering business solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals; an online platform for women to connect, engage and learn from each other. 25,000+ women and girls from 22 countries have benefitted since 2006. The current Africa Catalyst project has provided STEM workshops for 700 high school girls and skilled 350 university-level female engineering students across Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Eswatini.

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Inspiring Initiatives

Get inspired by previous shortlisted projects

Increasing diversity amongst the global population of engineers is a well-documented challenge that Airbus and the GEDC are committed to addressing. The previous finalist projects were selected for their potential to be scaled up or replicated elsewhere. In 2018, Airbus launched an e-book dedicated to the Diversity Award’s most successful initiatives, to share the valuable insights which will inspire others to take action.

This e-book showcases the outstanding initiatives selected for the Diversity Award shortlist between 2013 and 2018 and celebrates the achievements of the individuals and teams behind them.

Together, Airbus and the GEDC want to recognise exceptional efforts to increase diversity and inclusion around the world and inspire others to replicate leading initiatives in their own institutions. We hope that the visibility gained from publication within this e-book will support the continuation of the great work of these cutting-edge projects. 

 

Check out the Diversity Award e-book

News

The Airbus GEDC Diversity Award in the media

The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile’s SaviaLab has been recognized for innovative use of technology to increase diversity in engineering education.

The diversity initiative, which seeks to bridge the gap of opportunity by offering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach education to indigenous minorities and young people in rural areas across Chile, has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award.
Read the article
 

UNM’s Swarmathon listed as finalist for Airbus diversity award.

The University of New Mexico’s NASA Swarmathon is one of three international finalists for the 2018 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award. The 2018 award will be given to the project that demonstrates the best use of technology to enhance diversity in engineering education and will be announced at the 2018 World Engineering Education Forum-Global Engineering Deans Council (WEEF-GEDC) conference in Albuquerque, which will be held Nov. 12-18. 
Read the article


Morgan’s Yacob Astatke Recognized for International Achievements in Engineering Education.

Congratulations to Morgan State University’s Yacob Astatke, D.Eng., for being selected as the 2016 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award recipient by aeronautics firm Airbus Group and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC). Dr. Astatke, the interim associate dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Clarence Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering, was chosen from among 40 candidates from 17 countries for his work in engineering education and, specifically, his efforts to improve the delivery of engineering education in Africa.

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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.

Read the article and Watch the video
 

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. 

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Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

The diversity of our talent drives innovation, while inclusion is how we make sure everyone is a full-fledged member of team.

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