UK’s Teesside University launches scholarships to support female engineers ahead of INWED

Article by Amanda Jasi

TEESSIDE University in the UK has today launched three £8,000 (US$10,108) scholarships to support first-year female engineers. Aimed at encouraging more women to study an engineering-related degree, they are expected to help increase the diversity of those seeking to work in current and future industries in Tees Valley.

The announcement comes ahead of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), on 23 June, which celebrates the work of female engineers across the globe.

Offered to women starting their first year of an engineering-related degree – including bachelor’s and master’s in chemical engineering and energy engineering – the Women in Engineering Scholarship will provide £8,000 to ease the financial burden during studies. Female students expecting hardship as they study at Teesside can now apply until 23 October 2024.

“The engineering skills that you will gain through a degree or any other route into engineering will set you up for life,” said Ann Watson, CEO of UK engineering skills charity Enginuity.

“My advice would be, for women thinking about engineering as a career, is to just do it. The engineering sector is so exciting, there are so many different opportunities. You could be working in anything from automotive to space, to sustainable foods, to new energy sources, green energy, net zero. It’s got a wealth of opportunity.”

From Teesside herself, Watson added that the engineering sector needs more women, particularly in Teesside which is an engineering and manufacturing industrial heartland.

“We’ve got a skills gap of needing 200,000 new engineers every year, so it’s really important that we get the talent and the diversity into the sector.”

Left to right: Rachael Barker, head of alumni engagement and stakeholder development at Teesside; Ann Watson, CEO of Enginuity; and Chrisina Jayne, dean of the School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies at Teesside.

Teesside is launching the scholarships in partnership with Enginuity and developers at power company RWE working on its 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind farm.

The partners hope that the scholarships will help meet demand for skills stimulated by the incoming investment by government and industry in Tess Valley, which they say is home to a dynamic industrial landscape with opportunities for new businesses and growing skill development. The partners expect the scholarships will be crucial to growing the pipeline of talent coming into the region.

Matthew Swanwick, project director of RWE’s Sofia, said: “In recognition of International Women in Engineering Day, we are delighted to support a new scholarship at Teesside University, aimed at supporting women in their pursuit of engineering degrees.

“RWE benefits enormously from the many capable and talented women we have working here. We think it’s essential to do what we can to increase the number of women in engineering and are hugely supportive of this initiative.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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