Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Epilogue: ISTM Women in Engineering

Motivated by National Women in Engineering Day, I started a series of interviews with female engineers in our Research Institute. I have since talked to five inspiring women who have described what they love about their work, what attracted them to it, and their thoughts on encouraging young people and especially girls into engineering. 

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to raise the profile of women in STEM by encouraging people to talk about the women whose work they admire. I hope that the ISTM Women in Engineering series illustrates the fulfilling lives and successful careers that women can achieve in STEM. 

"Ada Lovelace portrait" by Alfred Edward Chalon 

Ada Lovelace herself is a great inspiration for me, since she is considered the first computer programmer, a century before modern computers. Ada made the conceptual leap from a calculator to a general computer that could do anything with the right program and inputs. 

I use computers to model the human muscular system, to find out how our bodies move, and design treatments to address movement difficulties. Computers allow me to try things out that would otherwise be impossible (what would happen if I removed this muscle?!) If Ada were alive today, I think that she would have been thrilled to see computers used this way. And she’d probably set about improving my code...

Here are the interviews included in the ISTM Women in Engineering series:


Professor Alicia El Haj

Dr. Caroline Stewart

Dr. Hareklea Markides

Professor Divya Maitreyi Chari

Dr. Yvonne Reinwald

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