Toulouse, France, October 13, 2017
Airbus, a worldwide leader in aeronautics, space and related services and Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), a global organisation for engineering education, have announced the recipient of the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award.
Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan’s BIRDS Satellite Project was selected as the winner, with the Schulich School of Engineering: Discover Engineering Programme at University of Calgary, Canada and the Women in Engineering (WIE) Programme at the University of New South Wales, 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 per cent of executives rating diversity and inclusion an important issue in 2017, up from 59 per cent in 2014.
"Diversity is a cornerstone of our business and an indispensable component for our continued success," said Jean-Brice Dumont, upcoming Executive VP of Engineering, Airbus Commercial Aircraft; member of Airbus' Diversity and Inclusion Steering Board, and Patron of the Award. "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."
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.
The BIRDS Project team at the Kyushu Institute of Technology’s collaborative programme provides a unique opportunity for young engineers to learn, 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.
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 US $ 10,000, and the runners up US $ 1,500.