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20 November 2014
20. November 2014 Commercial Aircraft

Airbus announces distinguished evaluation Jury for the 2nd GEDC Airbus Diversity Award

Leading Aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, announces the members of the prestigious evaluation committee who will assess presentations from the three finalists of the 2014 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award taking place on 3rd December at the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Dubai. The three 2014 finalists are from Australia and USA and were selected from over 20 candidates from 12 countries.
Led by Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering, this international jury will be composed of: John Beynon, Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide and chair of the GEDC (Global Engineering Deans Council), Rana El Chemaitelly, Founder of The Little Engineer (scientific educational programs for school students), Prof. R Natarajan, Former Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education, and former Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Dr. Khairiyah Mohd-Yusof, Director of the Centre of Engineering Education, Malaysia.
This prestigious award is given to individuals who have been proactive in bringing more diversity* into engineering schools and universities. It rewards initiatives around the world which encourage young people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. The long-term aim of the award is to increase diversity among the global community of engineers so that the engineering industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports.
The jury will be looking for the transferability of the idea, measurable success and the potential to inspire other diversity initiatives. The Award recipient will be named at a special gala dinner on 3rd December. He or she will be awarded USD10,000 to support and develop their work to increase diversity in engineering education.
“Initiatives like the GEDC Airbus Diversity Award and Airbus biennial challenge Fly Your Ideas demonstrate our commitment to a diverse, innovative body of engineers for the future.” said Rachel Schroeder, Head of Employment Marketing at Airbus. “The WEEF is a great opportunity for Airbus to engage with global engineering education community.  We share a mutual ambition to build the global pool of engineering talent, and to ensure that young people are inspired to pursue a career in this field
The WEEF brings together the most important international organizations in engineering education. Under the theme ‘Engineering Education for a Global Community’, the WEEF 2014 will include over 70 multidisciplinary sessions, bringing together 2,000 leading experts, industry representatives and faculty members to address the latest innovation, advances, technology, issues and challenges in engineering education. Airbus is a Platinum sponsor of the WEEF.
More information is available at 
The 2014 Award finalists are:
Marita Cheng: Founder, Robogals Global, Australia
Marita Cheng is the founder of Robogals Global, an initiative designed to inspire girls aged 10-14 to choose engineering and technical careers, and to create a global community of engineering students committed to the cause of greater diversity.
Through a varied program of workshops, training, student challenges, a Robogal Ambassador program and a dedicated outreach program for rural and regional areas, Robogals has so far reached over 20,000 girls worldwide, utilising a largely volunteer workforce of university students.  In six years, it has grown from a single university chapter to an international organization.
Bryan Hill: Assistant Dean, University of Arkansas College of Engineering (USA)
Bryan was chosen as a finalist for his work leading initiatives to recruit and retain underrepresented engineering students through the Engineering Career Awareness Program (ECAP) at the University of Arkansas (U of A). Between 2007-2014, minority enrollment in engineering programs at U of A increased by more than 190%, with a 150 % rise in female undergraduates.
The program offers a full range of academic, financial and social support to remove the barriers that underrepresented students face in completing an engineering degree. ECAP also has partnerships with feeder institutions targeting diverse transfer students. As program director, Bryan has been instrumental in not only developing ECAP but also in creating significant funding streams and industry partnerships.
Bevlee Watford: Associate Dean, Academic Affairs/Director, CEED, Virginia Tech, USA
Bevlee was selected for her wide-ranging programs aimed at building an inclusive and diverse engineering student body at Virginia Tech, and now used as a model for institutions throughout the USA. Over 10,000 engineering students, many of them from underrepresented groups have been supported and mentored through the CEED since its inception in 1992.
There is a wide selection of programs and activities made available through the centre, including peer mentoring, living-learning communities and summer bridge programs.
The programs are designed to support undergraduate students, as well as pre-college students at local schools. The work of the CEED is the acknowledged driving force behind Virginia Tech’s steadily rising engineering student enrollment and retention rates, particularly among minority groups. 
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