• Fifth edition of UNESCO-backed Award is announced at global engineering deans’ conference in Canada

Airbus, the worldwide leader in aeronautics, space and related services and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), the leading global organisation for engineering education, have announced the recipient of the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award. Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology’s BIRDS Satellite Project was selected, 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.

Now in its 5th edition, the Award was developed and funded by Airbus in partnership with the GEDC, 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.*

“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.”

The 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award recipient, 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 programme in their respective home countries.

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. The winning project was awarded   US$ 10,000, and the runners up US$ 1,500.

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”.

“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.

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


More information is available at: www.company.airbus.com/diversityaward

Pictures available on: http://www.airbus.com/newsroom.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AirbusCareers/


About Airbus

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016, it generated revenues of € 67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as Europe’s number one space enterprise and the world’s second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Airbus is a corporate member of the GEDC (Global Engineering Deans Council), a leading global organisation whose members are individuals responsible for setting the agenda for higher education in engineering in their countries and universities. Since 2017, GEDC Airbus Diversity Award is under UNESCO patronage.


Notes to editors


Project Title: UNSW Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme

Project Representative: Alex Bannigan, Women in Engineering Manager

Organisation: University of New South Wales, Australia

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 programme 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.


Project Title: The Schulich School of Engineering: Discover Engineering Programme

Project Representative: Qiao Sun, Associate Dean (Diversity & Equity)

Organisation: TheSchulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada

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 programme’s 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.


*Source : Deloitte, Human Capital Trends, 2017


·         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 GEDC Member

·         Hélène Séguinotte, ICD.D., Corporate Director

·         Prof. Theo Andrew, Executive Dean, Durban University of Technology, South Africa and GEDC Executive Member



Diversity is the inclusion of individuals that represent variations in gender, 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.

(Source, American Society of Engineering Education and Airbus)