Airbus, the leading aircraft manufacturer, and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), the leading international organisation for engineering education, have selected the three shortlisted candidates for the 2014 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award. The three 2014 finalists are from Australia and USA and were selected from over 20 candidates from 12 countries.

This prestigious award is given to individuals who have been proactive in bringing more diversity* into engineering schools and universities. It rewards initiatives around the world which encourage young people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. The long-term aim of the award is to increase diversity among the global community of engineers so that the engineering industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports.

The finalists will present their ideas to a jury led by Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. The selection criteria will focus on the measureable success of the initiative, the transferability of the idea and the potential to inspire other diversity initiatives.

“At Airbus we are convinced that diversity is key a driver of innovation and high performance,” said Charles Champion. “More diverse teams, means more inclusive teams, where everyone’s ideas count. This is the kind of culture we foster at Airbus and I congratulate the 2014 finalists whose results also demonstrate what can be achieved with commitment and ambition.”

“This year, we have been particularly impressed by the number of ‘contagious’ initiatives – those that have the potential to be replicated in other universities globally,” explained John Beynon, Dean of Engineering, University of Adelaide, Australia and Chair of the GEDC. “We want to inspire engineering leaders from around the world to join our drive to create a more diverse global community of engineers.”

The winner of the 2014 Award will be announced at the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Dubai on 3rd December 2014 attended by leading deans and industry representatives from around the world. An amount of 10 000 USD will go to the award recipient to support and develop their work in this field.

In October 2013 the inaugural Diversity Award went to Ana Lazarin from Wichita State University (WSU), USA, for her outreach, recruitment and retention programs which have increased the number of under-represented minority students in the College of Engineering at WSU by 91% over the last 5 years.