Professor Elena Gaura
Professor Elena Gaura is a Research Institute Director at Coventry University. She draws on 25 years of research experience and a decade of work as a senior manager and leader in engineering. Elena holds several honorary positions that provide her with platforms to speak for and represent women in engineering effectively: EPSRC Champion of Women in STEM, honorary professorships at global universities, advisory board member at Cambridge University, National Co-Director of the UK’s Doctoral Training Alliance, General Engineering UK Research Excellence Framework 2021 panel member, leading Women in Sensors activities for the IEEE Sensors Council.
In 2021, Elena was awarded recognition from the Women’s Engineering Society as one of the 50 Engineering Heroes – for her contribution towards combating structural gender inequality in engineering across sectors and specifically in academia and the energy sector.
Sponsored by the British Council and the UK Research Councils, Elena designed and delivered global, large scale capacity building programmes for women researchers to further enable them to access STEM positions. Her work recognises the value of women having access to resources and training that support ambition, encourage responsible innovation, and build towards supportive, collaborative networks.
Over the past 6 years, through her research, she served in the humanitarian engineering energy sector, developing ways to engage women with renewable technologies in the Amazon, Philippines, Nepal and Rwanda, as pathways to empowerment and employment.
Always, Elena works to improve the capacity and capability of communities, with far-reaching positive and life-enriching societal and environmental impacts. She believes in “mentorship with sponsorship” and, through her researcher and senior leader roles, she advocates for academia and industry to invest in and actively seek greater gender equality and diversity across the engineering education and employment pipelines.