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 award launched in 2012, is now in its 7th year.
List of Airbus GEDC Diversity Award Recipients
The 2013 Diversity Award held on 21 October 2013 at the Art Institute of Chicago during the GEDC annual conference, went to Ana Lazarin for her outreach, recruitment and retention programmes which significantly increased the number of underrepresented students in the College of Engineering at Wichita State University (WSU).
As an engineering student at WSU, Lazarin founded a student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Her Engineering Summer Camps, the Changing Faces Program, and Community Outreach Events have captured the interest of many underrepresented students by educating them about the different fields of engineering and what engineers do.
Marita Cheng, 2014 Award Recipient, is the founder of Robogals, an initiative started at the University of Melbourne, designed to inspire girls aged 10–14 to choose engineering and technical careers, as well as a global community of engineering students committed to the cause of greater diversity. Through a varied, exciting programme of workshops, training, student challenges, a Robogal Ambassador programme and a dedicated outreach programme for rural and regional areas, Robogals has reached over 80,000 girls worldwide, utilising a volunteer workforce of university students. The initiative has grown into an international organisation with chapters at over 30 universities.
The Diversity Award 2015 went to Fadi Aloul, for his role in developing a programme to introduce first-year undergraduate students to the engineering profession and stimulate their critical thinking and creativity. Results show that the course has had a positive impact on the students’ interest in engineering and helped to increase their motivation and deepen their understanding of the relevance and the impact of their discipline in solving real‐world problems. The retention rate has increased over the years, reflecting the course’s impact in attracting and encouraging students with different profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering.
Morgan State University’s Dr Yacob Astatke received the 2016 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award for his impressive introduction of technology and training initiatives across universities in Ethiopia. For the past 14 years, he has worked to improve the delivery of engineering education in Ethiopia through teaching graduate courses, sharing best practice and delivering training. Since 2009, he has led the implementation of Mobile Studio™ Technology in five universities in Ethiopia. This portable instrumentation Input/Output IO-board enables students to conduct hands-on exploration of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) concepts. Dr Astatke has been instrumental in facilitating the donation of equipment and other resources.
In 2017, BIRDS Satellite Project, represented by Nigeria’s Taiwo Tejumola, was selected as the winning project for the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award in Niagara Falls, Canada. The project trains graduate students from developing countries ( Ghana, Nigeria, Mongolia,
Bangladesh and Thailand), 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. This collaborative programme provides an opportunity for young engineers to compete in the global market by teaching specialised waste-minimising systems engineering models, developing core skills and building a supportive peer network. The project creates a sustainable pathway for participants to implement training initiatives in their home countries, contributing to the globalisation of engineering education.
The 2018 Airbus GEDC Diversity Award-winning project, SaviaLab, was selected for innovative use of technology to increase diversity in engineering education. Developed by a team at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, this educational ‘pre-engineering’ programme empowers rural students in Chile with concrete technology and innovation tools. The impact goes beyond the rural minorities to the university’s students that represent minorities themselves. Since 2014, the initiative has introduced over 3,300 students from 7 regions to potential STEM career paths.
The award is currently open for entries from specific projects that have delivered tangible results in encouraging diversity in engineering education among students and/or graduates.
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.
You are invited to discover the outstanding initiatives previously shortlisted for the award in the Airbus GEDC Diversity Award e-book.
Entries are open for the 2019 award – Register here and find out more about submitting your project.
For terms and conditions of the award, click here.
Airbus is an international reference in the aerospace sector. It designs, manufactures and delivers industry-leading commercial aircraft, helicopters, military transports, satellites and launch vehicles, as well as provide data services, navigation, secure communications, urban mobility and other solutions for customers on a global scale.
The company’s helicopter business is the largest in its industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries.
With a forward-looking strategy based on cutting-edge technologies, digital and scientific excellence, the company aims for a better-connected, safer and more prosperous world.
Airbus funds the award in partnership with Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC). The Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) was created on 9 May 2008 in Paris. It aims to serve as a global network of engineering deans and to leverage the collective strengths, for the advancement of engineering education and research.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.