Department of Engineering and Design

Commitment to diversity and inclusion

The department of Engineering and Design is strongly committed to welcome and support students and faculty members from diverse backgrounds. It has especially focused these last few years on reducing the gender gap in engineering. We support initiatives promoting engineering careers to young girls, supporting the career development of female staff through improvement of work practices and encouraging female students considering further studies, notably by providing mentoring.

Partnership with Women's Engineering Society (WES)

Since 2019, the School of Engineering and Informatics has stablished a partnership with Women's Engineering Society (WES) to strengthen our commitment to support our students and staff development, by having access to a professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration and support. There will be a series of events co-sponsored by WES, if you are interested in being part, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Rendon-Morales.

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Women represent 11% of the workforce in engineering in the UK, and 17% of engineering students. This gender gap needs to be reduced, as it impedes the development of the industry, innovation, and gender equlity in society as a whole. A team from the school of Engineering and Informatics, pictured in the banner above, has been working on an agenda to reduce the gender gap in students and faculty. Their work was recognized by the reception of an Athena SWAN Award. The Athena SWAN Charter was developed to combat under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) in higher education and research. It covers:

  • representation in academic roles
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

The University of Sussex holds a bronze Athena SWAN institutional award, in recognition of its commitment to promoting gender equality for women in STEMM disciplines. The School of Engineering and Informatics holds a bronze Athena SWAN departmental award, which recognises that the School is working to promote gender equality, has identified particular challenges and is taking action to address these. The School initially gained a bronze award in 2015, and successfully renewed it in the April 2018 award round (Engineering and Informatics Athena SWAN bronze [PDF 1.08MB]). The award is valid for three years.

Abigail Berhane sits in the formula car 2018, in the middle of a workshop.Abigail Berhane, founder of the Equality in Engineering society, photographed by Camilo Castaneda Gaviria

Inclusion and student societies

Two of our student societies focus specifically on improving inclusion: Robogals proposes playful workshops to initiate young people to robotics and coding. A new student society, Equality in Engineering, organizes talks by our alumni or students to open career opportunities or make complex problems more accessible. 

We are hosting the Robogals International Event in February 2019. We also welcome the increased participation of female students in our Formula Team.