As 2016 takes its closing breaths, we learn of the passing of yet another icon, Carrie Fisher. My Facebook feed is full of pleas to keep David Attenborough safe lest we lose yet another national treasure. We’ve seen terror attacks, ongoing conflict in Syria, the rise of the political far right, Britain vote to leave the EU and, personally most concerning, the election of Donald Trump as next ruler of the free world. All is not doom and gloom however and as the world ticks over there has been plenty of good news from the world of women in STEM. I’ve put together my highlights of the year below, covering both personal and industry arenas.
January – For the first time, NASA’s class of astronauts are 50% female
February – Female engineering entrepreneurs featured by CNN
March – UNSW Graduate Megan Kline wins 2016 WA CME Outstanding Young Woman in Resources award and is profiled by UNSW
April – Whilst on Yvette’s Grand Tour, we both visited the Falkirk Wheel, a connection point between the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal
May – Yvette is awarded the 2016 Young Railway Engineer of the Year from the Railway Technical Society of Australasia
June – National Women in Engineering Day is celebrated in the UK on 23rd June, featuring the release of a list of the Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering
July – My favourite mathematician Hannah Fry and Dallas Campbell explore the modern aviation industry in a series produced by the BBC ‘City in the Sky’
August – Whilst on my summer holiday we visited Bletchley Park and found out about the amazing women who operated the Bombe machines to find the daily Enigma settings
September – The Paralympics highlight a number of engineering innovations A special issue of Sports Engineering highlights technology for Disability Sport
October – BHP Billiton sets new goal for 50% of workforce to be women by 2025
November – Book launch for Rules of the Game, a book that explores the world of engineering, resources and construction, from The Blue Collared Woman
December – Largest all-female expedition to Antartica heads off
What are your highlights of 2016, and what do you have planned for 2017?