Leading lights inspire female students during National Women in Engineering Day


23rd June 2016

A YOUNG Woman Engineer of the Year finalist and an energy sector social media star will be among the speakers inspiring hundreds of female students from schools across East Anglia to consider a career in engineering today (Thursday 23rd June).

Around 200 students from 22 schools across Norfolk, Waveney and Suffolk will hear from a panel of speakers including Helen Cavill, finalist in the Institute of Engineering Technology’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award and winner of the Women in Engineering Society Prize 2015; and geotechnical engineer and author of the popular industry blog ‘Offshore Blondie’ Scarlett Mummery during an event at the John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park.

As part of a packed programme celebrating the third annual National Women in Engineering Day, they will be joined by 50 industry professionals including Norwich North MP Chloe Smith who will deliver the keynote speech, as well as Angela Grant, chief executive of Connect Education Business, and OPITO regional business and communication manager Liz Davis-Smith who will be speaking on behalf of the Women in Energy Group (WEN) UK.

Students will then get the chance to meet with 50 local energy and engineering firms and try out a range of hands-on engineering activities including a flow simulation to replicate some of the challenges of the drilling environment. Businesses taking part include Claxton Engineering, AID Industrial, Proeon, Hethel Innovation, Extremis Technology, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) and East of England Energy Group (EEEGR).

The event is a new collaboration in support of the National day, linking together Connect Education Business in partnership with WEN UK, the oil and gas industry skills organisation OPITO, the Institute of Engineering Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers as well as other supporting organisations and businesses.

Liz Davis-Smith said: “We have a great deal of support from the companies and speakers involved in this event with fantastic opportunities for young women to find out more about both engineering and the different roles available to them within the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.

“Women play an important role in the energy workforce and we hope that by listening to what the guest speakers have to say the next generation of female engineers will be filled with enthusiasm to find out more.

“Although the downturn in oil price continues to impact the industry, it’s important that we continue to open our young people up to the possibilities that the industry holds. The energy sector needs good people with the right skills and we can only support this by giving the next generation, women in particular today, a deeper understanding of the diverse range of engineering roles the industry encompasses.”

Helen Cavill said: “National Women in Engineering Day is a brilliant initiative by WES to raise the profile of women in engineering and inspire the next generation. I am very passionate about engaging with young people, especially girls, to show them what engineering is really about. This event is an excellent opportunity to share how fun, challenging and varied a career in engineering can be.”

National Women in Engineering Day is an International awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. Created by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), it takes place annually on 23 June.

For more information regarding OPITO events please visit our Events page.

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