International Women in Engineering Day 2019

Join us in celebrating International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on Sunday 23 June by taking a look at the fantastic achievements of women across our Schools.


National Women in Engineering Day was launched for the first time in the UK on 23 June 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary.

In 2017, National Women in Engineering Day became international for the first time due to the interest and enthusiasm developed by the international audience and participants in the previous years. International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) was born to allow the celebration of women in engineering to become global.

Women in Engineering at Leeds

We have a strong commitment to supporting women in engineering and computing, this is reflected in the number of female academics and students working and studying with us. Over 20% of staff and students are female, and over the past five years our actions have resulted in positive changes in a number of areas including:

  • A significant increase in the proportion of female MSc and PhD students; approximately 30% of our PhD students are female

  • The number of female professors has increased from 8% to 16%, which is well above the national average

  • We have female staff in senior management positions and have female representation on every significant decision making committee

  • We have launched a successful student-led Women's Engineering Society.

Athena SWAN Charter

The Equality Challenge Unit awarded us with the prestigious Athena SWAN Silver Award in recognition of our strong and continued commitment to gender equality, which reflects the significant progress made over the past five years.

The award represents the combined efforts of all five Schools and demonstrates that we have taken positive actions to ensure that policies, processes and ethos all promote an equal and inclusive environment for work and study.

Growing organs-on-chips to improve pregnancy outcomes

Dr Virginia Pensabene from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, is collaborating with scientists globally to further research into growing organs-on-chips to improve efficacy of IVF procedures.

Currently the success rate of IVF is as low as 30%, Dr Pensabene is inserting real cells into a silicone chip in order to grow organs to investigate fertility problems.

Nanotechnology cleanroom

New sustainable platform to test liquid formulated products

Chemical engineers are developing a sustainable testing platform which could overcome cost barriers, reduce risk and speed up the manufacturing of liquid-formulated products. The project will help SMEs and larger companies to more easily deliver products which are scalable, sustainable and economical, ultimately saving resources and funds.

Professor Elaine Martin, Head of the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, is leading the sensors, process analytics design, data fusion and control elements of the research.

Professor Elaine Martin

Leeds chemical engineering advises MP’s on chemical weapons policy

Postgraduate researcher in bioenergy, Jennifer Spragg has produced a report to help UK parliamentarians make evidence-based decisions on the chemical weapons policy.

Jeni was awarded the Ashok Kumar Fellowship by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST). The fellowship provides the opportunity for a graduate chemical engineer working in research to work at POST and produce a parliamentary briefing note for MP’s on a relevant subject.

Jennifer Spragg and MP Stephen Metcalfe

New Executive Dean for Engineering and Physical Sciences

Professor Nora de Leeuw has been announced as the inaugural Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Professor de Leeuw is a distinguished scientist, currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International & Europe) and Professor of Computational Chemistry at Cardiff University, where she has also led the Doctoral Academy.

She is also Professor of Theoretical Geochemistry at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and a Visiting Professor of Biomaterials at Université de Paris-Est in France.

Professor Nora de Leeuw, Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Further information

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Support INWED 2019 by using #TransformTheFuture and #INWED19 on twitter.