Six of the School’s 2015 graduates who were recipients of the Royal Academy of Engineering Advanced Leadership awards received a special congratulations by Professor Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Professor Mark Price, Head of School. Professor Dowling had earlier been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from Queen’s University at the School’s Summer Graduation Ceremony on 6 July 2015.
Currently serving as President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Dame Ann Dowling embarked on a distinguished career by becoming the first female Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where she also studied. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and is a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering and of the French Academy of Sciences. She has held visiting posts at MIT and Caltech in the USA and continues to research and teach at Cambridge.
She is best known, however, as an international authority on aircraft acoustics, combustion and vibration, and leads research into how to cut down on noise levels at airports, especially for people living in the immediate vicinity.
Speaking of her honorary DSc Eng, Dame Ann said: “To receive this recognition from such a prestigious university, and a university with such a fine heritage, that’s known for its engineering pedigree going back 160 years, is a considerable honour. I very much look forward to sharing this special occasion with students who will be graduating on the same day.”
The school celebrates its success in a staff/student breakfast event held in Ahsby canteen. Professor
Tom Millar, Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences attended the event to mark the significance
of the award and also to indicate the university wide support for promoting women in STEM.
Commenting on the Award, the Head of School, Professor Mark Price said "we are fully committed to combating underrepresentation of women in the field of engineering and are delighted to have had our Award renewed by the Equality Challenge Unit. The Award recognises our ongoing efforts to increase the talent pool by encouraging more young women to study engineering and supporting our female research and academic colleagues through their career progression. Engineering is a fantastic career that is interesting and deeply rewarding, and we want this to be an open pathway through life for all who want to follow their dreams. Our door is open and we extend a warm welcome for everyone to come and join us."
Third year MEng Mechanical Engineering students tested their innovative designs for folding bicycles on Saturday 2 May. Nine groups were put through a series of dynamic tests to evaluate manoeuvrability, acceleration and usability; as well as being measured for weight and folded size. It was an enjoyable day for students and staff alike as theory was put into practice in an environment of competition among peers.
Paul Hermon, Programme Director of the Product Design Engineering degree and coordinator of the design challenge, talks about the rationale for the project: “The group design-build-test project offers the students a different experience and challenge compared to a more traditional lecture based education. Increasingly the School is creating better engagement and a richer student experience as we constantly develop and innovate how we deliver engineering education through our involvement in the international CDIO Initiative. The folding bike challenge is a good example of how additional personal and professional skills such as team working and communication can be developed at the same time as technical knowledge and theory are applied in the design and manufacture of a functional prototype device.”
The nine QUB teams were joined on the competition day by a team from the University of Strathclyde, who were working to the same design brief. Next year it is planned to open the competition further and have several more universities from the UK and Ireland competing to be even smaller, lighter and faster.
Author: Juliana Early, Lecturer in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's University Belfast
10 April 2015, 3.43pm BST