2015 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Finalists Announced

Airbus Group and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) Announce Finalists for 3rd Annual Diversity Award

2015 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Finalists HeaderToulouse, 20 October 2015 – Airbus Group and partner, the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), have named three finalists for the 2015 Award for Diversity in Engineering Education at the IE Reinventing Higher Education conference in Madrid. The award was launched three years ago to promote a more diverse engineering workforce globally.

The award recognizes the grassroots initiatives and the people behind them which enable students from all backgrounds and profiles to study and succeed in the field of engineering – both while as students and when they join the workforce. Out of a total of 29 candidates in 13 countries, three finalists stood out:

  1. Renetta Tull from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in the U.S;
  2. Fadi Aloul from the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; and
  3. Martin Baumann from RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany.

The three finalists have been recognized for their ability to channel their passion for engineering into real, measurable change through initiatives that have the potential to be replicated elsewhere. On 30 November 2015, they’ll have the opportunity to present their ideas to a jury led by Charles Champion, Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering at the annual GEDC conference in Adelaide, Australia.

“Our priority is to have the best possible talent at every level of the company, and we know that diversity drives innovation because it brings varied perspectives on problem solving,” said Jacqui Chan, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Airbus Group and its Airbus Division. “If we don’t recruit and retain people from different and varied backgrounds and profiles, then we risk missing out on the talent and ideas that can really add value to our business.”

Recognizing the key role that engineers will play in creating the sustainable solutions to critical issues facing society in the future, Airbus Group and the GEDC are united in their belief that both industry and academia need to actively encourage more students to choose engineering as both a course of study and, ultimately, as a career path.

“We are at a crossroads now – with significant 21st century challenges ranging from cybercrime to delivering safe water supplies, we urgently need to encourage more young people to become engineers,” said John Beynon, Chair of the GEDC and Dean of Engineering at the University of

Adelaide. “Our three finalists have taken up this challenge. Their passion and determination is to open up an exciting future in engineering to young people from every walk of life. Longer term, this will provide businesses calling out for problem solvers with a better, more varied pipeline of ‘thinkers’ to choose from.”

The award recipient will be selected based on the demonstrable success of his or her initiative, the transferability of his or her idea and the potential to inspire other diversity initiatives. Along with the global visibility the award offers, the recipient will receive a significant financial contribution to support their work.

Alongside the three finalists for 2015, award organizers honored Gary May from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. State of Georgia with an exceptional Jury’s Recognition for Outstanding Achievement. The award acknowledges his career-long efforts and achievements in increasing diversity in engineering.

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