To raise the profile and celebrate the achievements of women in engineering, and encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career, EN organised two events for year 12 girls studying science A levels.

The first involved a visit to Adnams in Southwold to find out more from Belinda Jennings, the Adnams Quality Manager, about the importance of chemical engineering in the Food and Drinks Industry.

The second event comprised of a visit to the John Innes Centre, part of Norwich Research Park, organised in partnership with Dr Dee Rawsthorne, to find out about genetically modified crops and microbes and learn of the positive economic and social impact the research carried out there has globally, whether it be with regard to increased yield and resistance in crops or the production of new antibiotics.

Student Amirat Salawu said: "My visit to the Adnams Distillation and Brewery Plant in Southwold was a great experience for me. As an A Level student who is currently deciding which career path to pursue, the trip was interesting because it opened up my eyes to the possibility of engineering. I was surprised by the amount of science that went into making just a few barrels of beer. For example, the importance of yeast was astounding, without which beer wouldn't exist. Both the biology and chemistry played important roles, both of which I am currently studying. I don't think many people realise the complexity of the alcohol making processes. I was grateful for the chance to expand my knowledge as a part of ‘National Women In Engineering Day’ ”.

National Women in Engineering Day was organised by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) for the first time last year. It has been recognised that a skills gap in engineering is looming, and one way of addressing this is to get more girls to consider engineering as a realistic career option for them. This will have the dual benefit of creating more diversity in the engineering sector (where fewer than 10% of the workforce is women), and creating a bigger talent pool of future engineers from which to recruit.

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