Inspiring girls to change the world at engineering summit

Inspiring girls to change the world at engineering summit

Girls from high schools across New South Wales and the ACT will converge on UOW this week for a five-day camp to inspire them to change the world through engineering.

The Women in Engineering Summit, hosted by UOW’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, provides girls in year 10 and 11 the opportunity to ­find out more about careers in the engineering industry, experience the world-class facilities at UOW and tour local sites.

More than 50 girls will attend the event, which starts today (Monday 12 January) where they will meet industry leaders, academics and other women with similar interests from across the state as they explore engineering disciplines including environmental, civic, mining, electrical, mechatronics, materials, computer and telecommunications engineering.

Only about one in seven Australian students enrolled in engineering degrees in 2013 at Australian institutions were female.

Helping inspire them to rebalance the gender gap will be student leaders who are young female UOW engineering students or recent graduates.

Dr Montserrat Ros, Senior Lecturer, School of Electrical, Computer & Telecommunications Engineering, said the summit was an opportunity to break down stereotypes about engineering and show the career opportunities available.

“The engineering profession wants women with an interest in how things work and a desire to make things better,” she said.

“Engineering is about designing products, processes and systems that improve the lives of people all over the world. Women make up half the world’s population and if they are to be equal users of all these products of engineering they should have an equal part in their design.

“This summit is about encouraging girls to consider engineering as an exciting career in an environment where they can also build networks and friendships with other girls to support each other through their studies and careers.”

Dr Ros said it was imperative to interest the year 10 girls, so they could choose subjects in years 11 and 12 appropriate for entering engineering courses.

Second year Environmental Engineering student and summit student leader Ashley Terechovs said her passion for the environment and coastal landscape inspired her education choice.

Ashley combines her studies with work at a Sydney-based engineering firm and the Shoalhaven City Council as well as volunteering with her local Bushcare group, helping plant native trees and control invasive weeds.

“I am lucky enough to say my playground consisted of the bush, ocean and lakes, which led to my passion to become a coastal engineer,” she said.

“I am extremely passionate about the environment but I also understand and appreciate economic development and human progress to improve the quality of life. It is about improving our standard of living, while maintaining a sustainable environment and creating minimal impact.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings said an engineering education opened up a world of career opportunities for young women.

“The University has held this event for seven consecutive years and it has encouraged many young women to go on to become engineers. UOW has a proud tradition in engineering and as we look back on 40 years as an independent institution we can see the contribution to the profession and to the community our graduates, regardless of gender, have made.” 

Note to media
Media are invited for photo and interview opportunities following the official opening at 9.45am on Tuesday 13 January. The opening event will be held in building 14, room G01.

Media contact
Grant Reynolds, UOW Media & PR Officer, +61 417 010 350 or