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22 October 2013
22. October 2013 Commercial Aircraft

Airbus and Global Engineering Deans Council hand out the first award for diversity in engineering education


Wichita State University representative wins for her initiative to increase diversity in engineering.

Airbus, the leading aircraft manufacturer, and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), the leading international organisation for engineering education, have selected Ana Lazarin from Wichita State University (WSU), USA for the inaugural GEDC Airbus Diversity Award. It was announced on 21 October 2013 at the Art Institute of Chicago during the GEDC annual conference.
Ana Lazarin was recognised for her outreach, recruitment and retention programs which have increased the number of under-represented minority students in the College of Engineering at WSU by 91% over the last 5 years.
The award was created by Airbus and the GEDC to recognise individuals who have been proactive in encouraging students of all profiles and backgrounds (regardless of gender, social backgrounds, nationality, culture or disability) to study and succeed in engineering. The long term objective is to ensure that the engineering industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports, with diversity recognised as a driver for innovation which is essential for future growth.
“At Airbus we have some 100 nationalities, and over 20 languages are spoken among our 59,000 employees. This diversity helps to foster the innovation and performance which are essential for our industry” said Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. “All three finalists have delivered inspiring programmes which are making a real difference. Their personal engagement is impressive and reflects our commitment at Airbus to welcome more diversity into our workforce.”
Sarah Rajala, Dean of Engineering at Iowa State University and GEDC Chair added “the strong demand for engineers globally means that industry must attract and secure an increasingly diverse talent pool. We hope that more educators will be inspired to take up the challenge as Ana has done, to ensure that engineering graduates reflect the society in which we live, work and teach.”
Ana Lazarin will receive 10,000 USD to support her continued work in this field, with 1,500 USD going to two other finalists from University of Notre Dame, USA and University of Seville, Spain.
An evaluation committee led by Charles Champion and comprising experts from academia and industry met the finalists in Chicago and selected the award recipient. In addition to the financial reward Ana will be a VIP guest of Airbus during the coming year, to visit one of their major production sites and meet with Airbus executives.
More on diversity award
Notes to Editors
The 2013 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Finalists :
Ana Lazarin, Director of Programs to Broaden Participation in Engineering, Wichita State University (WSU), USA - selected for her outreach, recruitment and retention programs which have increased by 91% the number of under-represented minority students in the College of Engineering at WSU over the last 5 years.
Catherine Pieronek, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of Women’s Engineering Program, University of Notre Dame, USA - selected for her data-driven approach to understand why women and under-represented students tended to leave the engineering program at a higher rate than white male students, and to implement solutions which have improved the retention of all students and enabled them to thrive.
Maria Angeles Martin Prats, Associate Professor, University of Seville, Spain - selected for her initiatives such as mentoring and international networking meetings to promote and to increase the number of female students in engineering, improving the role and increasing the visibility of women in aerospace engineering. 
The Evaluation Committee :
·  Charles Champion – Executive Vice President Engineering, Airbus and Chair of Evaluation Committee
·  Sarah Rajala – Dean of Engineering and the James & Katherine Melsa Professor in Engineering, Iowa State University and GEDC Chair
·  Paul David Feigin – Senior Executive Vice President, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and former GEDC ExCom member
o   David Garza Salazar – Rector-Campus Monterrey at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico and former GEDC Chair
·  Blanca Jiménez-Cisneros – Director of the Division of Water Sciences and Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), UNESCO
·  Josephine Nabukenya – Dean of the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (CIT), Makerere University, Uganda
The Award Process :
Nominations were submitted by Deans of Engineering between February and May 2013. 
All nominations were evaluated by the award committee.
Candidates came from all over the world, including from universities in Australia, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, India, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA.
Three finalists were selected and invited to the GEDC Annual Conference in Chicago in October 2013 to present their project.
Details about the nomination process and evaluation criteria are available at
About the GEDC
The GEDC – Global Engineering Deans Council – was created in Paris in 2008. Its membership now represents over 30 countries and is growing rapidly. The mission of the GEDC is to serve as a global network of engineering deans, and to leverage these deans’ collective strengths for the advancement of engineering education, research and service to the global community.
The 2013 conference of the GEDC is hosted by Notre Dame University, USA.

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