Women in Aerospace
Women in Aerospace
According to Women in Aerospace, in 2010, roughly 10 percent of the aerospace industry was made up of women. While this number is slowly increasing, the Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Propulsion and Power (Turbo CDT) has decided to take a leading role in promoting women in leadership roles in aero-related sciences. The Turbo CDT is a collaboration between the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Loughborough, in association with Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Siemens and Dyson, funded by EPSRC, with the vision of training the next generation of research and industry leaders in the field of gas turbines. The Turbo CDT believes that by actively engaging with female students who have demonstrated a superior academic record in aerospace, we can empower more women to pursue careers that have historically been male dominated.
The first event organised by the Turbo CDT was a Women in Aerospace Dinner, hosted by Professor Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Director of the Turbo CDT at the University of Cambridge.
It’s been great to get together with a group of women and see the trajectory of successful women at all career stages – from undergraduates to senior managers. I have certainly found the evening inspiring and I am sure the students have too.
Anna Young, Senior CDT Fellow
The aim was to enable current undergraduate students to talk to women at all stages in their engineering careers about the challenges and opportunities in aerospace, including turbomachinery, power generation, aviation, renewable energy, and policy. Katie Williams, a fourth-year undergraduate at Cambridge, said “It was really nice to see so many women who are excited about their subject and it was good to meet women engineers from other universities.”
In addition to students, the event was attended by a range of women who have careers in aerospace, including academics from Oxford and Cambridge and industrialists from Reaction Engines and Rolls-Royce. At the dinner, Ann Dowling reflected on her career and the lessons she had learned along the way. The dinner was preceded by an open day at the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) and a tour of the Whittle Laboratory. Anna Young, Senior CDT Fellow, said “It’s been great to get together with a group of women and see the trajectory of successful women at all career stages – from undergraduates to senior managers. I have certainly found the evening inspiring and I am sure the students have too.”
The second event was hosted by Baroness Brown, a senior engineer with a prolific career in industry and academia and currently a crossbench Peer and a member of the House of Lords European Union Select Committee. The dinner was preceeded by talks at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute showing a range of career and research paths and tours of the facilities by current students.
In November 2019 the third annual event took place at Loughborough University It was hosted by Patricia Gruber, Technical Director for Office of Naval Research. The afternoon was comprised of talks from leading female academics within the Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering department at Loughborough. Current PhD students also spoke about their their research. Tours of the the new National Centre for Combustion and Aerothermal Technology (NCCAT) were then organised before the attendees made their way to Burleigh Court for dinner.
We hope to grow this event so please contact us if you would like to be involved in future events.