Researchers awarded nearly £600k to boost diversity in engineering and physical sciences

10 August 2018 @TeesUniNews


Teesside University is part of a pioneering project to boost participation of under-represented groups in engineering and physical sciences in the North.

The University is alongside eight others and six companies that have joined forces and secured £591,463 aimed at boosting the representation of women, disabled people, LGBT+, and people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in engineering and physical sciences in the North of England.

Engineering and the physical sciences contribute hundreds of billions of pounds to the UK economy each year, but people from these groups remain poorly represented across the sectors. The researchers hope that creating a more inclusive culture in the sector will lead to a more diverse talent pool and, ultimately, better science and engineering with which to address pressing global challenges.

Research reveals women engineers and physical scientists are underrepresented in all grades, especially in senior academic posts. Lack of role models from under-represented groups, unequal opportunities and a lack of understanding among senior leaders are some of the barriers these groups face.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has generously provided funding for the two-year project, which is part of a wider £5.5m national initiative.

The project’s activities include shared characteristic mentoring, reverse mentoring, establishing an online networking platform, leadership and networking development, collaboration with industry, and improved data capture and analysis.

Professor Nashwan Dawood, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) in the School of Science, Engineering & Design, is leading Teesside University's contribution to the project.

Professor Dawood said: "For the last 15 years Teesside University has been actively engaged in promoting and supporting women in construction through better training and more equal opportunities for women. We are delighted to be a part of this important project to improve diversity across the engineering and physical science sectors."

Durham University is leading the project which also includes: Lancaster University, Leeds Beckett University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Teesside University, University of Huddersfield, University of Hull, and University of Leeds. Industrial partners include: Atom Bank, Stanley Black and Decker, GTN Limited, IBM, Northumbrian Water Ltd., and SAGE.