About the Award
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 8th year.
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.
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.
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.
The 7th Airbus GEDC Diversity Award
Three finalists from Canada, Italy and UK were invited on 3rd June 2020 to an exceptional Airbus virtual event, celebrating their projects.
Each project team presented to a distinguished jury, composed of:
- Sirin Tekinay – Dean of the College of Engineering, American University of Sharjah, UAE & GEDC Chair
- Jean-Brice Dumont – Executive Vice President Engineering, Airbus & Patron of the Airbus GEDC Diversity Award
- Jennifer Ogle – Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Airbus
- Amanda Simpson – Vice President for Research and Technology, Airbus Americas
- Yacob Astatke – Assistant Vice President for International Affairs, Morgan State University, USA & 2016 Diversity Award Recipient
Finalists attended the Award Ceremony to celebrate the winning project. The Award Committee of Airbus and GEDC representatives led the event, presented by Clémence Bastien, Head of Employment Marketing at Airbus.
Alongside the global visibility that the award offers, the winners C4: Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom diversity initiative from the York University in Toronto, Canada received a prize of $10,000 USD to support their development.
In addition to the monetary prize, the three finalist teams were introduced to an Airbus Engineering Executive composed of exceptional mentors:
- Florence Verlut, HO Electrical System & Integration, Airbus in support of the Cross-campus capstone classroom (C4) by York University – Lassonde School of Engineering, Canada
- Marc Fischer, HO CoC Flight Physics, Airbus, supporting Embracing Diversity MOOC by METID Politecnico di Milano, Italy
- Philippe Gourdon, HO Aircraft Operations, Airbus nominated coach for NUSTEM: Broadening Aspirations to STEM careers in North East England by the Northumbria University, United Kingdom.
The mentors will coach them until the end of the year with the aim at maturing the teams so that they will grow stronger and multiply their project reach and ultimately increase their success.
Read more about the final ceremony of the GEDC Diversity Award, here.
Watch the 7th Airbus GEDC Diversity Award final ceremony
The 7th Edition Projects
Collectively, these projects have made engineering career paths more visible and more attainable to over 80,000 students worldwide.
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.
Discover more about the exceptional finalists:
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 recognize 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.
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).
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.
The Airbus GEDC Diversity Award along the years
The three finalist projects from Chile, Hong Kong and the USA presented their projects to a Jury of industry experts at the WEEF-GEDC conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
SaviaLab, an engineering outreach initiative developed by a team at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, was selected as the 2018 award winner. Project representatives Gabriela Garcia and Constanza Miranda were presented with the award during a special gala dinner on Tuesday 13th November. An e-book was formally announced by Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President, Airbus Commercial Aircraft, at the 2018 Diversity Award ceremony.
Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology’s BIRDS Satellite Project was selected as the recipient of the 2017 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award, with the Schulich School of Engineering: Discover Engineering Programme at Canada’s University of Calgary and the Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme at the University of New South Wales in Australia as runners up. Taiwo Tejumola from the Kyushu Institute of Technology presented the project to a Jury 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. For the 2017 Award, 45 entries from 18 countries were submitted.
Airbus and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) named Dr. Yacob Astatke, from Morgan State University in the USA, as the recipient of the 2016 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award for his work in engineering education. The award ceremony took place during the GEDC and World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) conference in Seoul, South Korea. Out of a total of 40 candidates from 17 countries, Dr. Yacob Astatke was selected as the award recipient for his impressive introduction of technology and training initiatives across universities in Ethiopia to improve the delivery of engineering education in Africa. For the past 13 years, he conducted graduate courses, sharing best practice and delivering training. He led the implementation of Mobile Studio Technology and pedagogy in five universities in Ethiopia and has been instrumental in facilitating the donation of equipment and other resources.
Three candidates, from 29 applications worldwide, were selected as finalists for the third Airbus GEDC Diversity Award. On 1 December 2015, Airbus and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) named Professor Fadi Aloul of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates as the recipient of the 2015 Award for Diversity in Engineering Education. Professor Aloul was selected for his key role in developing a common first-year programme at the AUS, which introduces undergraduate students to the engineering profession, stimulating their critical thinking, creativity and innovation. To date, over 10,000 students from 92 nationalities have taken part, with an average of 35% female students.
Three finalists were selected from over 20 candidates from 12 countries for the 2014 Award. They presented their ideas before a distinguished evaluation committee at the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Dubai. Their selection criteria focused on the measureable success of the initiative, the transferability of the idea and the potential to inspire others.
Marita Cheng was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award at the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Dubai on 3 December 2014. She received $10,000 to support and develop her work in this field.
The GEDC and Airbus recognized three inspiring finalists in 2013. Over 20 individuals from universities in 12 countries around the world were nominated for their work to increase diversity amongst the global engineering student body. Ana Lazarin from Wichita State University, USA, was announced as the recipient of the award on 21 October at a gala dinner dedicated to diversity in engineering, which took place at the famous Art Institute of Chicago. She was selected for her outreach, recruitment and retention programmes, which resulted in a 91% increase in the number of under-represented minority students and a significant increase in diversity in engineering education at the College of Engineering at Washington State University over the previous 5 years.