Japanese Project wins Airbus Award for diversity in engineering

Airbus, the worldwide provider of aeronautics, space and related services and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), the global organisation for engineering education, have announced the recipient of the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award, the companies said.

Japan´s Kyushu Institute of Technology´s BIRDS Satellite Project was selected, with the Schulich School of Engineering: Discover Engineering Programme at Canada´s University of Calgary and the Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme at the University of New South Wales in Australia as runners up.

Now in its 5th edition, the Award was developed and funded by Airbus in partnership with the GEDC, and this year was granted UNESCO patronage. It aims to shine a light on successful projects which have encouraged more people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering.

Diversity has become an increasingly prominent metric for business success, with 69% of executives rating diversity and inclusion an important issue in 2017, up from 59% in 2014.

The 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award recipient, BIRDS Satellite Project, trains graduate students from developing countries in using cost-effective innovative systems engineering to execute a comprehensive two-year satellite project, with the long-term goal of equipping them to commence a sustainable space programme in their respective home countries.

Taiwo Tejumola from the Kyushu Institute of Technology, presented the project to a Jury of industry experts and distinguished guests, as well as 200 international engineering education leaders gathered for the 2017 GEDC Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada. The three finalist projects were evaluated on the basis of the impact of their work, evidence of generating results and the possibility to be scaled-up. The winning project was awarded USD 10,000, and the runners up USD 1,500.