University of Sheffield professor a role model for women

 April 29, 2013

Elena Rodriguez-Falcon is the faculty director of women in engineering at the University of Sheffield.

She developed the university's Enterprise Education programme -- in addition to being a mechanical engineer -- and holds MBAs in industrial relations and industrial management, and a postgraduate diploma in education.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering that Elena works in is seeking to increase the number of talented women they hire into the faculty especially at professor and senior lecturers levels.

Before Rodriguez joined the department in 2001, she previously worked in industry for seven years in project management, product development, quality control and business planning.

Not only has she developed three degrees at University of Sheffield which aim at embedding enterprise and management in engineering, but she is also the founder of the Ibberson Centre for Enterprise.

“As a female engineer the issue of representation of women in my discipline has always been at the forefront of my mind,” said Rodriguez-Falcon.

Women have made major forays into all different branches of engineering over the past few decades, achievements marked annually by the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer (YWE) of the Year Awards.

The awards, which are entering their 37th year, recognise and encourage more women to get involved within the engineering and technology sector.

Two employees at major utility firm E.ON, an enthusiastic proponent of workplace diversity, have been honoured with IET awards over the past few years.

Sarah Curtis, team leader, energy infrastructure at E.ON New Build and Technology, snapped up an award in 2010. Kelly Walker, an E.ON combustion engineer inspired by the ways green energy can help prevent tropical deforestation, won a Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Award in 2011.

In 2013, the YWE winner will receive a trophy and a cheque for £2,500. The WES winner and the Mary George Prize for Apprentices winner will each receive a trophy and a cheque for £750.

The award entry deadline is July 31, 2013, and the ceremony to announce the winners of the Young Woman Engineer of the Year is on December 5, 2013.

Other upcoming IET awards include:

- Achievement Awards - medals given out in recognition of achievement. Entry deadline 31st May 2013

Apprentice Awards - launching this year, x3 awards consisting of Apprentice of the Year, Technician of the Year and Armed Forces Technician of the Year. Entry deadline is May 31, 2013

Present around the World competition (PATW) - a presentation competition for anyone aged 18-26 years

AF Harvey - a £300,000 prize for a top researcher - the latest winner has just been announced and there will be a prize giving ceremony on May 23, 2013

- Innovation Awards - celebrating innovation across 15 categories. The most corporate of our awards, it carries increasing prestige within the industry. Entry deadline July 26, 2013

- Travel Awards - scholarships available if you want to broaden your professional experience through undertaking a study tour, working in industry or attending a conference abroad

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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