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  • Writer's pictureDavid Pointing

Women in Engineering 'spring into engineering'; an update with UQ's WE team

The API has a strategic partnership with the UQ Women in Engineering program, in collaboration with Energy Queensland (Ergon and Energex) and Powerlink, which supports activities on a local and national level to raise the participation of girls in engineering programs at universities and to increase the contributions of female leaders to the engineering sector.

The UQ WE are active in engaging students and schools through personal visits in all parts of Queensland, and have national impact through their podcast series "but seriously, what is engineering". and other online activities (that were enhanced since COVID impacted live activities).

Some recent highlights from the UQWE team include:

UQ Women in Engineering X UQ Skirts panel event in early October on careers in engineering, featuring six incredible engineers at various career stages who shared their advice and career journeys with the audience of interested young people (and a few not so young).

- Emily Shawsmith from Ergon Energy and Energex (and an API Powerful Women Leadership Program participant) spoke on about her career in the power sector. Photos sourced from UQWE.

UQ WE's first ever three day long Holiday program, 'WE Spring into Engineering'

In September 2022 the UQWE hosted ~40 high school students on their Brisbane campus exploring the diverse study and career opportunities available in engineering, including hands-on activities in the UQ Maker Space and Rocket Building with UQ Space.

On the third and final day of the holiday program, students experienced a day in the life of a power sector engineer with an Industry Day offsite visit to Powerlink Queensland, a long standing program partner of UQ Women in Engineering in collaboration with the API and Energy Queensland.

Photo sourced from Powerlink via UQWE.

Building the WE Collaborate web site for the national university collaboration workshops

The API is working with the UQWE team to build a web site to share the information shared within the Women In Engineering community at Australian universities through our bi-annual national workshops and to strengthen the ad-hoc connections between the individuals and groups who are passionate about increasing the diversity of the engineering workforce.

The web page (hosted by the API) is being developed but you can see the bones of materials from the 2022 collaboration workshop and we are collecting resources from the different univerity teams (slowly) to add to the page.

Background to our relationship with UQWE:

The API’s support for the UQ WE team is focused on their national activities, and the API was proud to initiate in 2016 an annual conference (led by the UQ team) for the Women in Engineering teams of all Australian universities (and some from New Zealand).

The API’s partnership with UQWE – as a founding member since 2012 - provides opportunities for API members to get involved, such as speaking in the UQWE’s podcast series "but seriously, what is engineering".

Note that Energy Queensland and Powerlink gain exclusive benefits due to their making additional financial contributions to the program in collaboration with the API’s contribution from our core funds).

The UQ WE team also manage an annual WE Student Leadership program.

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