University Groups Board

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The WES University Groups Board (UGB) is made up of representatives of WES Affiliated University Student Groups from across the country.  Chaired by Helena Dodd (ugb@wes.org.uk), the group meets quarterly to share best practice, aide networking and provide valuable feedback to WES on issues relevant to women engineering students. They self-motivate, self-organise and self-deliver their own projects which have included articles for the newsletter, members area content and the INWED University Poster Competition. The board sits for a minimum of 1 year with the formal change over at the start of the academic year. 

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Board Members

  • Anika Amin, UCL
  • Simran Basra, Coventry University
  • Erin Carr, Queen's University Belfast
  • Helena Dodd, Imperial College London [Chair]
  • Juliette Goddard, Heriot Watt University
  • Jodie Grace-Smith, Universty of Bath
  • Samantha Middleton, University of Southampton
  • Olamide Olabode, Aston University
  • Sarah Seeruthun, Swansea University 
  • Anashwara Shankar, University of Nottingham
  • Natalie Tang, Loughborough University [Vice-Chair]
  • Catriona Wall, University of Glasgow

Contacting the Board


Meet the Board 

Image removed.My name is Anika Amin. I am a fourth-year Chemical Engineering student at UCL. I joined the UCL Women’s Engineering Society (UCLWES) in my first year of study, which was just when the society began. I volunteered as an academic mentor during that year for female high school students in Ghana that aspired to study Engineering. After this, I worked as the society’s social media and marketing executive, and now I am the president of UCLWES! We have held various events across this time, including our annual ‘Get Women into STEM event’ and have plenty of social and academic talks planned for the future too!

This year, my aim for UCLWES is to expand the range of opportunities provided to our members and extend our outreach into secondary and primary schools to educate students on engineering.  Coming from a background where I had no real insight into what engineering was throughout school and sixth form, I want to reach out to schools and inspire the new generation of engineers.

I am excited to have the opportunity to represent UCL on the WES UGB. WES is helping to break many of the barriers faced by female engineers in industry and being a part of this is a huge privilege. I also want to increase the diversity within the engineering field and to eliminate the stereotypes around engineering.

Image removed.I am a Mechanical Engineering student at Coventry University. At the start of this academic year I became the President and Co-founder of Coventry’s first Women in Engineering society, with the aim to connect like-minded and motivated Engineering students, and I am so pleased that it has been a success! I have been lucky enough to have male colleagues that actively support and encourage me and the society, I think this is important and shouldn’t be dismissed.

I am really looking forward to be given the opportunity to represent Coventry on the WES university groups board. WES provides great opportunities to network with professional engineers and other female engineering students. After attending the annual student conference I knew that I would love to be part of more activities run by WES. I acknowledge the importance of WES in a largely male dominated industry. As well as this I think it’s crucial to encourage and inspire young girls into STEM and to show them that there are similar faces to them in such fields.

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Having moved from Australia by myself at 15, I have since found my home here. Completing my studies while facing the challenge of adjusting to another country’s customs and cultures (without even mentioning the weather!) has experience,understanding and drive to create a community for the international and minorities of our engineering cohort. As such, as the president of the Queen’s  Engineering Society, we aim to improve the placement and graduate employment opportunities of international students by attending local PEI events to show employers we’re committed, engaged and valuable employees. We are also the only WES affiliated society in Northern Ireland and are aiming to create a WES partnership with our university and achieve an Athena SWAN award for the School of Natural and Built Environment.  

Professionally, prior to my degree, I worked for my sponsor PUNCH Consulting Engineers in Dublin. This opportunity that allowed me to experience real world engineering, and the everyday sexism women in construction experience.  In June 2019, I re-established the Northern Irish Cluster of WES, and during my time in the UGB I hope to expand our reach to Northern Ireland to further our support in the region. 

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I am a 2nd year PhD student on the CDT in Chemical Biology at Imperial College London, after joining the university in October 2018. As well as this, I am the president of the WOMENinSTEM@IC society, which is Imperial’s WES-affiliated group.  

My research is at the interface between engineering and science and involves engineering the surface of graphene oxide nanosheets to enable these to stimulate NK cells for a cancer immune response and then testing these in immunobiological cell models.  

Before joining Imperial I completed an MSci in Chemistry at the University of Birmingham, where I lead the Women in Science and Engineering society for three years. During my time at Birmingham I spearheaded a number of public engagement and outreach initiatives, including founding a number of women in STEM conferences for up to 200+ students, as well as various outreach projects with local schoolchildren.   

One particular outreach scheme I founded involved setting up weekly science clubs and mentoring programmes in local girls’ schools in disadvantaged areas of Birmingham.   
My outreach work was recognised with numerous awards from my university, as well as being shortlisted for a national STEM inspiration award and being invited to present my work at the House of Lords.  

As well as this, I have been involved with a number of national initiatives, such as the Big Bang Fair for up to nine years, and this year I was made the youngest ever competition head judge for the science category projects. 

I am delighted to be continuing on the WES UGB for my 2nd year running, and am very excited to support the Board’s work for the upcoming year. 

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My name is Juliette Goddard and I am currently studying for my masters in mechanical engineering, in my final year of my degree. Following a first sucessful year last year, I was re-elected to be the Vice-president of the Watt Women society at Heriot Watt university. In the societies first year we ran a number of sucessful events including an industry site visit, outreach events to the local primary schools and a large panel event for international womens day. We hope to continue to grow our society in the coming years as we have seen a need to create a community of female undergraduate students as we are disproportionately represented in our male-dominated courses at university.  

Getting the chance to sit on the WES undergraduate board is a great oppurtunity to link with other WES societies and motivated female students. I aim to feedback everything to the society so that we can continue to support, encourage and advocate for all the female STEM students at Heriot-Watt. 

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My name is Jodie Grace-Smith and I have just completed the second year of my integrated Master’s in Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath. My key interests are within the biotechnology sector, particularly around the use of microorganisms and plants to produce useful and renewable products, medicines and fuels by the emerging science of synthetic biology. 

 
I have been involved with WES since I joined university, but I recently decided to take on a more active role within the society by becoming a Co-Chair of WESBath. Although new to this role, we have already successfully organised and hosted an online event to celebrate INWED 2020, and I greatly enjoyed leading this event. We brought together over 50 people from many different backgrounds to network and collaborate with each other, and we shared some inspiring stories of female engineers working on projects across the globe. Events like this highlight the importance of WES in bringing people together to discuss ideas and share their own experiences and advice, and I look forward to continuing my involvement with WES throughout my engineering career. I am passionate about helping others and I believe it is important to build a strong, supportive network of female engineers. I hope through joining the UGB that I can help with this on a national scale, particularly within the student community, and I am looking forward to representing my university and connecting with new people on the board. 

Image removed.I am a third year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Southampton. I joined the women in engineering society at my university (SUWES) when it first formed, last year. We have held several talks from women in both industry and academia and in the coming year will be very busy organising more talks, outreach for schools and providing extra support and socials for our engineering students. 

Through the University Groups Board I hope to be able to gain and share knowledge that can help women and girls better access the engineering field. We can all work together to get rid of the stereotypes surrounding female engineers. 

My interest in engineering lies around renewable energy. I love reading about new and obscure ways people have found to generate energy and I feel that it is an important industry which should be researched as much as possible. 

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Olamide Olabode is a Mechanical engineering student at Aston University. During her first year of university she became a committee member of WEST society, the WES affiliated society at her university, helping plan series of sustainability focused workshops, Discover.Learn.Build. As well as organizing monthly meetup. WEST has helped gain her confidence, as the incoming Vice-Chair for WEST society Olamide hopes to help other women in engineering become more confident and comfortable, eliminating factors such as imposter syndrome. 

She is a highlighted engineer by EngineergGals; where she shared advice with prospective engineering students. She recently competed in the Engineers Without Border's 'Design for People Challenge', where her and her team’s idea of engineering a device that can harvests and clean rainwater for the Makers Valley community, South Africa. The initiative was awarded a place at the semi-finals. 

Joining the University Group Board, Olamide looks forward to becoming more active with the activities and campaign ran by WES to promote an inclusive culture for all women in engineering. Outside of engineering she enjoys travelling, writing about tech and culture." 

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I am the President of Swansea’s WES where I am doing a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering  looking to research the future of space exploration. I have formally been a NASA Ambassador under the Space Education Adventures Scheme. I have also studied and received an accreditation from MIT in : ’Introduction to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics and Human Space flight’.   

Having had the opportunity to work on with several projects with companies such as Surrey Satellites, British Airways, Airbus, TFL, BP, Hitachi Rail and the Armed forces I believe that gaining experience in the Engineering field is very beneficial. As part of the UGB I aim to work with the other members and employers to provide more students with links to companies and the tools to gain further experience.   

I am excited by the prospect of being able to encourage more females to enter the engineering sector through the work I hope to carry out as a WES member. 

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I am a third year Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Nottingham and the current president of the Women’s Engineering Society at our University. Having known from a young age that I wanted to pursue a career in Engineering I have sought out a variety of opportunities in this field; including, residential courses, work experience and more recently internships.  

  

Having noticed a lack of diversity and gender equality in the industry I was keen to use my experience to encourage younger students, especially females to consider a career in engineering. I hope that during my time on UGB I can inspire the next generation of engineers as well as providing support and opportunities to those interested in studying a STEM subject. 

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My name is Natalie Tang and I am the chair for Loughborough’s WES. As a finalist studying Product Design Engineering at Loughborough University, my passion lies in making a positive impact on people lives through creating products to improve people's quality of life.  

  

On top of my engineering, designing and enterprising academia, being part of WES has helped broaden my horizons on how each one of us can help encourage more young people in particularly girls in becoming engineers. Over the past few years, I have been privileged enough to be involved in several volunteering STEM projects as a STEM Ambassador. One of the key highlights was becoming a mentor for a design project in an event called Green Meets Grey which was held during my time in my placement year. It was lovely to share my engineering and enterprising knowledge with the younger generation and to see them come up with creative ideas.  

  

I am delighted to be part of WES UGB and Loughborough’s WES this year and I look forward to helping to make a difference. 

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I am currently in my third year studying Civil Engineering at the University of Glasgow. This year, I joined the FemEng committee - Glasgow University's Female Engineers -  as a WES representative. FemEng links female engineers at the university and has several focuses such as outreach work with local schools, networking events with industry professionals, social activities and international collaborations.  

I will be travelling to Malawi in summer 2021 with a team of seven other members of the FemEng society in a student-led project by the University of Glasgow's Female Engineers with the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST). We will be partnered with twelve young women studying STEM subjects at MUST and will visit local primary and secondary schools where we will host a series of STEM related workshops with a special insight into engineering. The main aim of the project is to provide outreach workshops, exhibitions and talk to young people in various schools across Malawi, giving them the opportunity to see what a career in a STEM subject might entail and encourage more young people into further education.   


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