Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology’s BIRDS
Satellite Project has been selected as the winner of the 2017
Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) Airbus Diversity Award.
The runners up are 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.
This year, 45 projects were submitted from 18
countries and 39 institutions.
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.
“Diversity is a cornerstone of our business and
an indispensable component for our continued success,” said
Jean-Brice Dumont, upcoming Executive Vice President (EVP) of
Engineering Airbus Commercial Aircraft, member of Airbus’
Diversity and Inclusion Steering Board, and Patron of the Award.
Diversity is not just important; it’s part of Airbus’ DNA. We are
committed to further encouraging and enabling all types of
diversity to maintain a high level of innovation in our industry.
Our partnership with the GEDC is one illustration of this
commitment, as we work together to identify successful projects
like the one that has just been awarded to develop our next
generation of diverse global engineers.”
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
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 US$ 10,000, and the runners up US$ 1,500.
Speaking at the Award Ceremony, Taiwo said,
"The BIRDS Project team at the Kyushu Institute of Technology,
Japan appreciates this recognition. Our collaborative programme
provides a unique opportunity for young engineers to compete in
today’s global market, teaching specialised waste-minimising
systems engineering models, developing core skills and building a
supportive peer network. The project also creates a sustainable
pathway for participants to implement training initiatives in
their home countries, further contributing to the diversification
and globalisation of engineering skills.”
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