5 reasons why young women should consider a career in engineering

What we do:

Futurum Careers is a free online resource and magazine aimed at encouraging 14-19-year-olds worldwide to pursue careers in science, tech, engineering, maths, medicine (STEM) and research. We work with academics all over the world and translate their research into free education resources that can be used in the classroom, at home and in STEM and STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, social sciences, humanities and maths) clubs.

Why we do it:

We are passionate about STEM and STEAM education and we’re passionate about science communication. Why not combine the two?

Futurum is here because we want to help teachers deliver a high quality, broadened STEAM education that will invigorate their students’ desire to learn. We want to help scientists and researchers communicate their work to a global audience of teenagers, young adults and teachers. We want to offer teenagers and young adults – regardless of their gender, race of background – the knowledge and confidence to study STEAMM subjects – and, in turn, social mobility.

Our ultimate aim is to help students (and teachers help students) connect the subjects they are learning with real-world careers in STEAM. In the UK, Ofsted now ranks schools according to their application of Gatsby Benchmarks. The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. When schools and teachers use our content, we can support them in meeting Gatsby Benchmarks 2, Learning from career and labour market information; 4, Linking curriculum learning to careers; 5 Encounters with employers and employees; and 7 Encounters with further and higher education. The US equivalent is the NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards.

Our mission is to enable researchers to inspire, teachers to motivate, and students to aspire.

How we work with researchers:

As the name Futurum suggests, we are always looking ahead, which is why we feel strongly about the importance of sharing knowledge and innovation, and why we ensure that research is communicated in an accessible and engaging manner, to an audience that is keen to learn.

We get to know our researchers’ work, use our expertise to craft teacher and student-friendly learning resources, and ensure our researchers are proud of the materials we share with the public on their behalf.

Increasing STEM skills is a global priority and Futurum is gratified by connecting experts from all over the world with the next generation of researchers. We ensure real impact is achieved by getting researcher’s work in front of teachers, from a source they trust and in a format they can use easily.

How we support teachers:

Every teacher wants to challenge their students and to pass on the passion for their subject that made them work in education in the first place. In the real world of heavy teaching timetables and minimal planning time, however, we know that teachers can struggle to provide learning experiences that broaden their students’ knowledge and understanding beyond the confines of exam specifications.

Our job is to provide free, stimulating and high-quality resources that enable teachers to stretch their students that little bit more, and take them beyond the classroom and into the innovative world of contemporary research.

The resources we provide for teachers foster engagement, curiosity and independent learning, while showcasing career options available to young people.

Meet the Futurum team

Tuesday 23rd June marks the 7th International Women in Engineering Day and, unsurprisingly, we didn’t have to look too far to find some brilliant women engineers to inspire us!

1. “All the evidence shows girls are just as capable as boys in science subjects and achieve as well in exams.” So says Dr Helen Bridle, associate professor of engineering and physical sciences at Heriot-Watt University in the UK, who is currently working with sensor technology. She is exploring the relationship between antimicrobial resistance and pollutants – a significant endeavour and one which highlights her assertion that women engineers achieve great things.


2. “As humanity faces mounting and diverse challenges, the field of environmental engineering must build on its unique strengths,” explains Linsey Marr, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech in the US. Helen says, “Studies also show a more diverse workforce produces better outcomes.” Engineering challenges require a multitude of people and skills for them to be addressed effectively; women are a part of that.

3. “Engineering is no longer a single-track discipline,” states Professor Elena Gaura, an expert in pervasive computing at Coventry University in the UK, who has worked on an inspirational humanitarian engineering project providing energy to displaced peoples. Modern day engineering needs to incorporate a range of disciplines – and a range of engineers – to tackle global issues.

4. “Being an engineer is a commitment to finding new solutions. Engineering is an absolutely fascinating field and very rewarding. It has nothing to do with gender or ethnicity,” states Dr Marianna Maiaru, of the Center for Wind Energy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the US. Young women need not worry that their gender is an issue in this field – innovative problem solving is key.

5. Terri Camesano, professor of chemical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the US, tells us, “One of my chemistry professors in my freshman year told me about chemical engineering and suggested that there would be more opportunities, and that it was going to be a great fit for me…I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” Engineering is a rewarding career for young women – even if they don’t know it just yet!

That the Women’s Engineering Society launched the International Women in Engineering Day in 2014 to mark its 95th anniversary is a good reminder that women have been playing their significant role in engineering for many, many years. The WSE asks that we all, “celebrate the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world… get involved and help us #ShapeTheWorld this year!”

As one of the amazing women engineers shaping our world, Helen says, “What I love the most is the freedom to explore things.” What we love is that we get watch and learn as these ground-breaking explorations take place.

Read more about this:

To read more about International Women in Engineering Day visit: http://www.inwed.org.uk/

To learn more about Helen’s work, read: https://futurumcareers.com/what-if-we-could-develop-a-sensor-that-can-detect-pollutants-like-heavy-metals

To learn more about Linsey’s work, read: https://futurumcareers.com/environmental-engineering-for-the-21st-century-addressing-grand-challenges

To learn more about Terri’s work, read: https://futurumcareers.com/the-need-for-antimicrobial-peptides-in-a-world-of-antibiotic-resistance

To find out more about Elena and Marianna’s work, watch this space – their Futurum articles are landing soon!