Women in Aviation, Science and Engineering

19th March 2016

Woman Engineer

On Saturday 19 March the Royal Air Force Museum, in partnership with Techmaids are holding an event in honour and celebration of women in science and engineering. The Month of March marks International Women’s Day and Women’s history Month.  

We will be hosting various women who work in science and engineering who will be giving pop up lectures beneath our Bristol Beaufighter.

Event Schedule and Speakers

11.00 Maggie Appleton MBE, Chief Executive Officer at the Royal Air Force Museum
11.30 Hillary Taylor,  Director, Zumiya Consulting
12.00 Linsey Birkett, Technical Engineer, Interserve Industrial Services - Power Division
12.30 Noor Ul-Ain, Graduate Engineer, Reading University
13.00 Claire Curtis-Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at the British Board of Agrement
13.30 Carla Curtis-Tansley, Student at the Royal College of Art, Imperial College London
14.00 Q&A: Meet the British Airways aircrew
14.45 Francesca Perona, Fab Lab London
15.15 Rahmat Iyabode Balogun, Founder of TechMaids
15.45 Cassie Kolyda, Founder & CEO of StraDia Coaching

About the Speakers

Maggie Appleton MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Air Force Museum

Maggie took up her current post as Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Air Force Museum in January 2015. 

Maggie has 25 years’ experience in the sector and is passionate about the difference that museums and culture can make to people’s lives.  Before joining the Royal Air Force Museum, Maggie worked in Luton for 12 years, for six as director of museums and latterly as the Chief Executive of Luton Culture, the charity that comprises the arts, libraries, community centres and museums in the town. Her previous roles were in Stevenage and at the Royal Armouries.

Maggie led the consultation, fundraising and development of the HLF-funded Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton that opened in 2008 and welcomes over 200,000 visitors a year. She was also responsible for securing the medieval Wenlok Jug for the UK after it was export stopped in 2006.

Maggie is also the Vice President of the Museums Association, Board Member of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England Committee and the co-Chair of the Women Leaders in Museums Network.

Maggie is married with two boys and is a keen cyclist and reader.

Hillary Taylor,  Director, Zumiya Consulting

I have lived and travelled the world, learned different languages and worked on ground-breaking projects. In parallel I work for and with communities to develop individuals, communities and communication, both in formal and informal roles. Opportunities exist every day for new and exciting challenges.  In addition to technology, I’m also very involved in working to equal access for all (regardless of backgrounds, with or without disabilities) to our exciting STEAM (STEM including Arts and creativity) world and futures.  I’m a published writer, work in a range of networks and am also very part time artist.

From my original degree in Electrical Engineering, through software, hardware, manufacturing, test and business development, today I work in creative thinking in tech, arts and social worlds. Problem solving, (technical, business, or other), I help develop strategies, understand risk, project, organisation and personal development.  I take part in various community/ arts development and individual projects.

Linsey Birkett, Technical Engineer, Interserve Industrial Services - Power Division

Linsey Birkett is a Technical Engineer in the Power Division at Interserve Industrial Services. She fell into the Power Industry by accident 8 years ago and has thrived in the electrical arena, studying part time for an ONC and then a HNC in Electrical Engineering the latter of which she graduated from in June 2015 with a Distinction. Her day to day role is to provide support to the Extra High Voltage Underground team in the form of cable system design including cable calculations, cable pulling tensions and outage planning. In addition, she is heavily involved in the tendering, development and planning of projects anywhere from £5k to £25m for a wide range of Clients.

Noor Ul-Ain, Graduate Engineer, Reading University

Noor Ul-Ain, was born in a small village in Pakistan and moved to the UK when she was 11. Noor grew up in Swansea, studying at Dylan Community School. Her first introduction to engineering was a Saturday taster course in Electronics and Mechanic in year 9.

Noor then did her BEng and MEng at the University of Reading. Growing in a conservative family, she really enjoyed the freedom in University. It provided her with a great platform to further pursue her interest in Engineering. During her degree, she undertook a 6 month placement with EnSilica, an Engineering consultancy firm in Wokingham. Noor absolutely loved her time there, returning after graduation.

Ensilica is an SME, which has provided great opportunities for Noor. Working in smaller teams ensures that she is handed greater responsibilities than you what you would expect in a graduate position. The range of work projects are also highly varied, making her job very interesting. Noor  has learnt to create PCB designs to do place and route. Also applying the same theory on a chip level. She have learnt a variety of skills schematic drawing, PBC layout, timing simulations, FPGA programming and numerous learning programming languages.

Claire Curtis-Thomas, Chief Executive at the British Board of Agrement

Claire Curtis-Thomas graduated in Mechanical Engineering from University College, Cardiff, and went on to obtain an MBA at Aston University. She also has an honorary PhD in Technology.

Her industry experience was gained with Shell UK. This was followed with roles at Birmingham City Council, initially as Head of Corporate Affairs and later as Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council Laboratories. Claire then returned to university life as Dean of the Engineering and Business Department of the University of Wales, Newport, before moving into politics when she was elected MP for Crosby.

During her time in parliament, Claire championed a number of issues on behalf of the construction industry and sat on three select committees: Trade & Industry, Home Affairs and Science & Technology. She also chaired All-Party Parliamentary Committees on Construction and Utility related subjects and founded the Construction & Development Partnership, a charity dedicated to bringing schools and education to the children of Sierra Leone.

Claire left politics in 2010 and before joining the BBA in 2013, she was Chief Executive of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM), a Chartered Institution providing services, training, and standards to the gas industry.

Francesca Perona, Fab Lab London

Francesca Perona is a London-based interdisciplinary designer, FabLab London associate, Ravensbourne Sessional Lecturer and STEM educator. Trained and experienced as textile designer, she graduated with a MA in Computational Arts at Goldsmiths Department of Computing in 2012 and with a Fabacademy diploma at FabLab Barcelona/MIT in 2015. 

Francesca’s practice sits at the intersection of experimental materials and digital technologies. She has run a number of workshops and courses on interactive technologies in local schools, community centres and Universities in the UK and abroad. Having worked on research projects for companies such as Unilever and Philips, she has also won digital arts residencies and presented her work at institutions such as the V&A, Abertay University and UCA Canterbury.

Rahmat Iyabode Balogun, Founder of TechMaids

After working for many years in corporate IT, based on the challenges faced during her professional career Rahmat decided to set up TechMaids to enable young people especially women into STEM careers and non traditional professions.

Rahmat has trained a significant number of women in Grahame Park. She continues to trailblaze by promoting gender diversity and awareness of digital skills to improve personal and economic wellbeing.

Rahmat is a STEM finalist, ambassador and role model. She is on a mission to inspire social change and empower the next generation for a digital economy.

Cassie Kolyda, Founder & CEO of StraDia Coaching

Female Engineer and Founder & CEO of StraDia Coaching, an international company helping High Powered Women to start and grow profitable businesses or successful careers in the corporate arena doing what they are passionate about.

Her true passion is to empower women to raise their Profile in male dominated arenas, develop unique personal brand to stand out, market their expertise, monetize their knowledge, leverage their time, add new revenue streams, not settle for less than they are worth!

Event details are as follows:

Date: Saturday 19 March 2016

Times: 11am – 4pm

Cost: Free

It’s that time of year when we can advocate for women and shine a light on the issues that affect them and celebrate their accomplishments and achievements.

Please note - full details and speakers are still be announced.

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