Cerys Williams: Welsh female Engineer winning awards in manufacturing

With a series of awards including the EEF’s Regional (Wales) Outstanding Achievement by a second year apprentice in 2011 and runner up of the Regional (Wales) Outstanding Achievement by a Final Year apprentice in 2013, Cerys Williams is an example to all women in Wales who wish to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing. Cerys Williams is a CAD and Product Development Engineer at Sogefi Group’s Allevard Springs Ltd in Clydach Vale, Rhondda Cynon Taff. In October 2015, Cerys celebrated her 6th year at the company and during that period she has been recognised for her achievements with a number of academic awards. Allevard Springs Ltd was originally established in South Wales in 1948 and supply springs to the automotive industry including Land Rover, Ford, Nissan and Volvo. The company exports globally and is a part of the Sogefi Group, who has other manufacturing operations across South Wales. In Clydach Vale, the company has 110 employees split 73% to 27%, shop floor to staff. Cerys, 24, was inspired to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing by her late Grandfather, Cyril Williams: “I spent one summer in the shed with my Grandfather building a bird box. What I really enjoyed was making something from scratch and seeing how it all came together. I can remember being so proud of the bird box when it was finished.” However, the journey into engineering and manufacturing has not been easy and Cerys has had to overcome a number of obstacles in pursuit of her career. “Even though I did not get the AS level results that I had hoped for, I...

Rebecca Saunders, Warwick Mobile Robotics

A student’s insight to studying engineering, building search and rescue robots and encouraging women into the field. By Karen Whittaker How did you become interested in engineering? “As a child I didn’t know which career I wanted to pursue and for that reason I chose a broad set of A-level subjects including Maths, Physics, Music and French. Maths and Physics were my favourites but I couldn’t decide what to study at university. I hadn’t really considered engineering as it wasn’t a subject taught at school. My A-level physics teacher recommended that I took part in a course called Headstart. This is a weeklong course aimed at 16-18 year olds and is available at selected universities. This course is designed to provide an insight into studying engineering at university. After completing my course at Durham University I decided to study for a degree in engineering. I applied to several different institutions and accepted an offer from the University of Warwick”. What attracted you to the University of Warwick and the course you are doing? “Although I had completed a Headstart course I still didn’t know which stream of engineering to study. The University of Warwick offers engineering degrees where the first two years are common for all streams, allowing students to experience a wide range of disciplines before specialising. This was the main reason I chose Warwick over other universities. Warwick is well known for both its teaching excellence and research achievements and was consequently awarded University of the Year 2015 in The Times Good University Guide. It’s a great place to study with a beautiful campus and more societies...

More women engineers urgently needed

Thousands of female engineers will be trained up as part of a ‘national mission’ to get Britain building again, Ed Miliband was quoted to say. Responding, Michelle Richmond from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “It’s great to see that Ed Miliband is making plans to tackle the engineering skills shortage. This is a very significant problem, contributing to skills shortages which damage the economy. The shocking reality is that the UK is missing out on half its potential engineering and technology workforce by failing to attract women into the industry. It also means that women are losing out on interesting and rewarding career opportunities. “The difficulty in attracting women into engineering is down to a combination of things: from the careers advice girls are given in schools, to schools not instilling girls with the confidence to opt for science and maths at A-level, through to employers needing to do more to make their approach to recruitment and retention more female friendly. “There is no easy fix to this problem so it’s important that any future training programmes are developed in close consultation with industry, schools and colleges if we want them to make a real and lasting impact. “The lack of inspirational engineering role models for girls is also part of the problem so we must make sure we show the next generation that engineering is an interesting and challenging career choice, which is why initiatives like our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are so important.” Robert Beahan Institution of Engineering and Technology...

IET launches new campaign to boost female engineers

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is launching a new campaign to encourage companies of all sizes to revisit their approach to recruitment and retention – to make sure they are doing everything possible to attract more women into engineering roles. Currently, just 7 per cent of the total UK engineering workforce is female. This effectively means that engineering companies are not accessing half of the potential talent pool which, given the impending skills crisis in engineering and technology, makes poor business sense. Championing the campaign is IET Deputy President, Naomi Climer, who is also President of Sony Media Cloud Services. Naomi led a 50:50 campaign to create an inclusive and diverse culture that promotes gender balance and a fulfilling working environment to achieve a greater business result.She is now keen to encourage her fellow engineers to do the same. Like most companies with engineering teams, Sony Europe didn’t have a good record for either attracting or retaining female engineers. It also had a very low percentage of women in senior positions within the company. Naomi explains: “Before launching the campaign, we had to highlight that the lack of women was a genuine business concern. To do this we set out a strong and compelling business case. Our focus was that improved gender diversity would lead to more innovation, as well as a more harmonious and collaborative working environment – all of which would ultimately help us maintain our competitive market position.” The IET campaign, which is calling for other companies to look at how they can make their recruitment and retention more female friendly, is launched on National...

ONLY 3% OF GIRLS IN MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS WOULD CONSIDER A CAREER IN ENGINEERING

Girls at English schools think boys have a much better chance of getting jobs in engineering with just 43% saying they have the same opportunities in the industry. As a result, just 3% would consider a career in engineering. At university technical colleges (UTCs) however, the picture is different. Nearly two thirds (65%) of girls believe they have the same job opportunities as boys in engineering. This trend continues in other male dominated sectors, including technology where three quarters (75%) of girls at UTCs believe they have the same job chances. In science the figure is higher still, at 83%. The findings are part of two surveys commissioned by Baker Dearing Educational Trust, of 14-18 year old students at university technical colleges and other mainstream schools. The surveys also show a worrying difference in how confident girls feel about getting a job when they leave education. 90% of girls at UTCs felt confident they could get a job compared to just 76% at other mainstream schools. What’s more, almost double the number of girls attending UTCs (83%) felt they had gained valuable practical skills compared to just 49% at other mainstream schools. Lord Baker, chair of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind UTCs, said: “The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe. We have to challenge out-dated ideas that careers in engineering, science and technology are more suitable for boys than girls. Girls at university technical colleges are leading the way, demonstrating the kind of talent, commitment and interest in these subjects that this country so desperately needs. It’s vital that this message is...
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The one leading voice for the Fluid & Power Transmission Industry - Saturday, December 16th 2017
****ISSUE 81 - DEADLINE DATES - EDITORIAL & PICS 10/11 - ADVERTISING A/W 17/11 -PUBLICATION DATE W/C 13/12****