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Queen’s celebrates women who ‘engineer’ success

The woman who advises Jenson Button on how to get the best performance from his McLaren Formula One car is one of a number of female engineers to be featured in an exhibition celebrating Women In Engineering Day at Queen’s University on 23 June. 

Bernadette Collins from Enniskillen graduated from Queen’s in 2009 and is now a Performance Engineer with McLaren Formula One racing team. She will feature in a poster exhibition highlighting Queen’s female staff and graduates who are making their mark on engineering in Northern Ireland and around the world.

Other women featured in the exhibition include Lecturer Dr Danielle Soban, whose life-long love of planes led her to a career in aircraft design and a passion for mentoring young women in aerospace. Graduates include Marie Butterfield whose Queen’s degree opened the door to a varied career spanning four global industries and the opportunity to travel the world; and Wendy Patton, who advises the nuclear industry on the safe disposal of nuclear waste.

The free exhibition will also feature demonstrations of the University’s flight simulator and the Queen’s Formula Racing Car, which is designed and built by Mechanical Engineering students to compete in the Formula Racing competition at Silverstone.

Women of all ages are invited to come along and find out more about female graduates and academics from the School, and those interested in in engineering can also take part in a Twitter chat with Queen’s graduate Sinead O’Sullivan between 10.30am-9pm on Monday 23 June, using @SineadOS1 and #MAEwomen or follow the conversation at @MAEQUB. As a Queen’s student, Sinead completed a Space Studies Programme at the International Space University in Strasbourg and is now studying for a PhD at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, USA.

Lecturer Dr Beatrice Smyth, who is an expert in clean energy and how to get energy from waste, spoke about why Queen’s is playing its part in encouraging more women to choose engineering as a career: “Queen’s is one of the leading Universities in the UK for supporting the career progression of women in science, engineering and technology. We want to show women, of all ages, that engineering is more than just big buildings and heavy metal.

“Engineering is at the core of understanding how things work. From the clean energies that will power the homes of tomorrow, to the small components that keep aeroplanes in flight, to designing supercars, a Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering degree from Queen’s can take you almost anywhere. Every student who graduated in 2012, having undertaken a placement year, secured a graduate level engineering job.

“This event is an opportunity for young women to find out about the courses on offer and the career prospects for female engineers. Female applicants to the Mechanical Engineering degree are eligible to apply for the Schlumberger Female Scholarship Programme, which offers a support package of up to £10,000, including an internship at the company, which is the world’s leading oilfield services provider.

“All students in the School have the opportunity to complete a one-year work placement with leading engineering companies, including Schrader, B/E Aerospace, Andor Technologies, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce and Airbus. Our strong industry links are crucial in ensuring that we produce well-qualified, experienced graduates who are best-placed to meet the needs of Northern Ireland’s engineering sector.”

Speaking about her own career choice, Dr Smyth continued: “In school I loved maths, but I didn’t want to narrow my options to just one subject, so I chose engineering because it is such a broad field of study with lots of sums and definite job prospects.”

The Women in Engineering exhibition will run from 10.30am to 5.00pm on 23-24 June in the Ashby Building foyer, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. Admission is free and all are welcome. 

For more information on national Women in Engineering Day visit

Alternatively, visit our Twitter page for more information:

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MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering and MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering - Scholarships now Available for Postgraduate Taught Programmes

As part of the new Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Scholarships initiative at Queen's, awards of £2,500 are now being offered for those applying for a PGT programme that contributes to Northern Ireland’s economic competitiveness and prosperity in global markets.  To be considered for an award candidates must hold an offer for one of a number of postgraduate taught courses which includes the MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering or the MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering, both currently offered by the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's (see


Funding is also available to support the payment of fees for eligible applicants through the MSc Bursary Scheme (see  Intended for both graduates and practicing engineers, this scheme, and the MSc programmes offered by the School, aims to support the current government push to up-skill the existing UK workforce and reinforce the supply of new skilled people in key areas of aerospace technology for the future


Our MSc programme in advanced Aerospace Engineering also provides opportunities for graduates from Mathematics and Physics backgrounds who are interested in transferring to Aerospace in order to apply their skills in a new sector.


The availability of funds through both of these schemes offers an excellent opportunity for you to be involved in one of our exciting PGT programmes, improving your employability significantly when you graduate.


Enquiries related to the MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering should be directed to the programme director:

Dr Joe Butterfield at:, Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4878


Enquiries related to the MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering should be directed to the programme director:

Prof Stephen Spence at:, Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4677


Applications to our MSc programmes can be made through the Queen’s University website as follows:

MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering

MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering

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School marks International Women's Day 2014

The SWAN Committee within the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's, marked International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2014 with a poster exhibition held in the foyer of the Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast.  Traditionally International Women’s Day is set aside to observe a general celebration of respect and appreciation towards women.  It also acknowledges their economic, political and social achievements.  The goal of our exhibition is to increase awareness and appreciation of the many women who are part of our daily lives.  Whereas it is recognised that there are many high profile individuals who could and should be recognised for their accomplishments, this exhibition focuses on less well known women whose stories in relation to their professional and personal lives are no less inspirational. To that end we are inviting you to participate in our endeavour by coming along to the Ashby Foyer to view the exhibition which will run from Friday 7th March through to Friday 14th of March 9am – 5pm.


We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to those of you who have contributed to this initiative by providing your profile and to congratulate you on what you have achieved!!


Details relating to the relevance of the SWAN Charter within our School can be found at:


For further information on the SWAN Charter see:  and for more information on International Women’s Day see:


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UCAS Open Day Great Success!

Hundreds of prospective students (along with friends and family) attended our UCAS open day event on Saturday, 1st March to find out more about our School and degree courses. The event included presentations on our degree courses, conducted tours of our facilities and the QUB campus, and plenty of opportunities to interact with our staff, current students and employers.

Links to the presentations can be found below:


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