Women in Engineering Role Model Day a resounding success

The Faculty of Engineering recently hosted the 2007 Role Model Seminar for senior cycle girls in DIT Bolton St on Friday 26th January. The event is organised by the DIT Faculty of Engineering women in engineering group WAVES with the support of WITS (Women In Technology and Science), Engineers Ireland and the many companies who release their professional women engineers to attend the seminar.

Over 250 students attended from 31 second level schools and the DIT were delighted to have the event opened by Una Parsons, Industries Director, Engineers Ireland and John Lawlor, Head of the School of Manufacturing and Design Engineering, DIT. Una and John focussed on the wide range of careers available to engineering graduates - they also emphasised that there were many routes into engineering for Ordinary Level Maths students.

Una Parsons opened the event.

There were two distinct parts of the seminar - presentations by professional women engineers followed by some networking sessions between students and Role Models. The seminar was chaired by Ciara Ahern, Building Services Engineering, DIT.

Sheila Kavanagh and Deirdre Behan, Vodafone

Students were treated to short presentations from five of the Role Models who described college life, how they decided on their courses at 3rd level and how their careers had developed over the years. The first speaker was Kate O'Donoghue, a 3rd year student of Structural Engineering at DIT. She was followed by Sheila Kavanagh, a Physics graduate who is now head of Access Networks at Vodafone; Margie McCarthy, a Civil and Environmental engineer currently running the STEPS to Engineering programme for Engineers Ireland; Susan Spelman, a Chemical Engineer working with Jacobs Engineering and Caitríona Lambert, an Electrical Engineering graduate of DIT who is currently a Senior Executive Engineer in South Dublin County Council.

Kate O'Donoghue

A key part of the seminar is that the students are given lots of time to 'network' with the Role Models directly. This was achieved by having a morning break for some soft drinks and networking and a BBQ at lunch time to facilitate even more opportunities for the students to meet the professional women engineers. With so many students attending the seminar DIT were delighted that many other women engineers attended the seminar to make themselves available as Role Models during these breaks. These included Gerry O'Dowd and Kate O'Reilly, eircom, Deirdre Behan, Vodafone, Orla Lonergan, Jacobs Engineering, Dr Cecilia Chan and Dr Jane Courtney, DIT and Margaret O'Riordan, Malahide Community College.

Students from Loreto College

Tracey Blake, Guidance Counsellor, Loreto College Stephen's Green commented 'I would like to thank WAVES and the DIT Faculty of Engineering for the great waves event today. I and the girls found it very informative - well done.'

Students from Mercy College

A student of Mercy College, Inchicore was the lucky winner of a Portable DVD Player donated as a raffle prize by www.engzone.ie. Enquiries about future events should be directed to Michael Core, Director's Office, Faculty of Engineering, DIT - michael.core@dit.ie

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