A record number of female high school students have applied to join a week-long summer camp at UNSW designed to give them a taste of a future career in engineering.
Now in its third year, the Women in Engineering Camp invites Year 11 and 12 students from across Australia to spend a week at UNSW participating in design projects, visiting major engineering hubs and hearing from leading female engineers in a range of technical and professional fields.
The 2015 camp runs from 12-16 January. This year, 30 high school students have been selected to take part.
Competition for places was fierce, with triple the number of applications received compared to previous years, UNSW’s Women in Engineering Manager Dr Alex Bannigan said.
Among the confirmed speakers at the 2015 camp are Greens NSW MP and UNSW civil and environmental engineer, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Royal Australian Air Force Group Captain Jenny Fantini and innovative materials engineer UNSW Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla.
The students will visit the ABC, Qantas, the Red Cross Blood Processing Centre, Powerhouse Museum and co-working space Fishburners. A highlight of the week will be climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
And, like students in last year’s camp, they will spend part of their week designing a functional knee or ankle brace – a project that will allow them to experience the whole design process, from concept to testing.
Bannigan believes that the value of the camp is demonstrated by its track record in attracting the very best female students to pursue tertiary studies in engineering at UNSW.
In the camp’s inaugural year alone, three-quarters of the Year 12 students went on to enrol in engineering degrees at UNSW in 2014.
UNSW has set a goal to increase the proportion of women enrolling in first year engineering to 25% by 2020. Enrolment was 22% in 2014, which is well above the national average.
Applications for the 2016 camp will open in August 2015.
Media contact: Leilah Schubert, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 8107.