Inspiring the next generation of engineers
The Foundation organised a workshop, attended by 200 young women across the country, introducing them to life as an engineer at The Dyson Institute. Are you enthused by problem solving and how things work? Watch the webinar recording to learn more about your future career path.
The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology is on a mission to re-define engineering education to develop leaders of the future. Dyson’s Undergraduate Engineers pay zero tuition fees and earn a full salary. As well as their academic studies, from day one they learn by doing and contribute to new Dyson technologies to improve lives all around the world. 33% of the undergraduate engineers at The Dyson Institute identify as female compared to a national average of 21% on undergraduate engineering courses in the UK.
Hosted by Dyson Undergraduate Engineers: Sophie Bloodworth, Tash Taylor, Emily Jones, Anoushka Patel, Joanna Crane and Oyemen Okes, schools learned the latest about The Dyson Institute, career paths in design and engineering and attended a taster lecture, led by Dyson Institute Electronics Lecturer Dr Nikita Hari.
Dr Nikita Hari
Electronics Lecturer, The Dyson Institute
Nikita joined The Dyson Institute as a Lecturer in Electronics in Sept 2020. Before that, she was a Schlumberger Faculty for Future Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Engineering Sciences, University of Oxford (2019-20) with a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from University of Cambridge (2013-18).
Listed in the ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering in UK' in 2017(Women’s Engineering Society), Nikita is an invited Global Ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and a TEDx Speaker. A passionate educator, STEM communicator and a champion for women in STEM, she mentors many aspiring young people in STEM and research.
“We need engineers to solve the world’s problems; from farming and energy to automatization and space travel, there is a fascinating world of engineering life which knows no gender. Whether you are into sports or art, teaching or tech, there’s a place in engineering for you!
Second Year Undergraduate Engineer
Anoushka has worked at Dyson for two years, having joined The Dyson as an undergraduate engineer in September 2019. Her role at The Dyson Institute has given her a unique opportunity to work within live global project teams, solving challenging problems, whilst simultaneously studying for an Engineering degree. She currently works in the Hair Care New Product Innovation team in a Design Engineering role helping devise the Dyson styling tools of the future.
“Being an ‘engineer’ is so much more than what society and the media may mislead you into thinking. It requires creativity, empathy and divergent thinking, and it is the lively intersection of these skills that creates a successful engineer.”
Fourth Year Undergraduate Engineer
Sophie has worked at Dyson for almost 4 years since starting as part of The Dyson Institute’s first cohort in September 2017. She now works primarily on our environmental care projects, improving the auditory experience of Dyson machines.
As part of the undergraduate degree programme, Sophie had the opportunity to work in a variety of teams ranging from robotics, to new product innovation (NPI) in floorcare, all the way to automotive. She recently worked on the Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde purifying fan and led the acoustics drive to widen the slots and reduce acoustics without compromising on fan performance.
“I feel very fortunate to have not faced too many challenges as a woman in engineering. For me, the main one has been a lack of understanding of the profession. At school, I had classmates who thought going into engineering meant being a car mechanic so I think it would be great for schools to teach just how wide ranging a field engineering is.”
Third Year Undergraduate Engineer
Having joined Dyson in 2018, Tash spent her first and second year at The Dyson Institute working on a range of projects across all Dyson’s product range, as well as an interesting rotation on the Automotive project. Her current, and favourite, role is in the Environmental Care research team. At school Tash enjoyed both creative and science subjects: physics, maths, art and music, seeing engineering as a blend to pursue them further. Over the past year, Tash co-founded the Women’s Engineering Society at The Dyson Institute.
“Studying and working allows us to learn the essential theory behind key engineering topics whilst also developing practical skills and implementing our theory in the workplace. I find this to be a powerful way to learn, and Dyson provides such a supportive environment to do this in.”
First Year Undergraduate Engineer
Joanna is in her first year studying at The Dyson Institute and is currently working in the Electronics team at Dyson. Motors are a core technology in Dyson products, and she’s part of the team developing simulations to select the materials with the best performance within motor components. At school, Joanna always had a passion for maths and computer science and wanted to pursue a career that involved these skills. Since working at Dyson, she’s found a “dynamic, creative and supportive space” to pursue projects in these areas.
“I always wanted to pursue a career involving maths, however it took a while to break down the ‘men in workshops’ stereotype and discover that engineering is so much more. Engineering encompasses all my passions and is a field in which technology is being pioneered for generations to come.”
The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology is the first education provider in the UK to be given New Degree Awarding Powers. The milestone comes just three years after it was founded as an alternative to a traditional degree education during which time Dyson has invested £31.5 million. Dyson’s Undergraduate Engineers pay zero tuition fees and earn a full salary. As well as their academic studies, from day one they learn by doing and contribute to new Dyson technologies to improve lives all around the world
Applications for the September 2022 intake, who’ll receive a Dyson Institute awarded degree apprenticeship, open in Autumn 2021. Read the details here.
Already at university and have an eye for design?
Submit your idea to the James Dyson Award.
The 2021 James Dyson Award closes for entries on 30th June. Find out more about how to enter here .
Above: Agnes Xue using her invention, Luna.
What does this year’s INWED theme of ‘engineering heroes’ mean for you?
Agnes: This year’s INWED theme celebrates women in engineering whose actions may not be the ones that make the headlines, but they are the best, brightest and toughest engineers. They may not be in the limelight but are the ones who work hard in the background, who dare to pilot solutions and create breakthroughs.
Charlyne: This year’s theme reminds me of the film “Hidden Figures”. It highlights the women who worked in the shadows but were the root of many of our daily inventions. And events like INWED enable us to show the importance of having women in engineering today.
Lucy: INWED is all about showcasing current examples of women pioneering solutions regularly to send a message that women are not just capable but excelling.
Why did you enter the James Dyson Award?
Solveiga: I was encouraged to apply by someone who saw potential in my idea. I never expected to win the James Dyson Award but it really propelled my business into existence. There can’t be a better sign for someone to apply than that, take it from me!
Katherine: The Award gives young women a voice for their invention and a platform to break into the industry. It gave me the opportunity to pursue Respia full time as a start-up through educating the world about what’s possible for asthma management if you put resources behind it.
Lucy: Crucially the James Dyson Award is uniquely focused on supporting inventions just out of university in the early stages. If you have sketches, initial ideas or prototypes, submit your application – the Award is looking for an idea that solves a problem, not the final product!
Amanat: At university the James Dyson Award was introduced to us in our classes. We were always encouraged to enter by our professors but didn’t think we stood a chance at being recognised, let alone receive a prize. The Award is well respected in the industrial design world, and we’re honoured to be a part of the group of amazing other winners through this Award.
Above: Judit Giro Benet working on her winning invention, The Blue Box.
Judit: I was motivated to take The Blue Box from being a prototype to a product people could use. To progress my at-home biomedical device for breast cancer screening, I needed to improve our algorithm and fully understand the physiology of the female body. Another consideration was whether the design was intuitive and practical enough for the user. The prize money and exposure from winning the James Dyson Award last year gave me a platform to focus and develop answers to these vital questions through further research and development.
Want to follow in their footsteps? Submit your idea to the James Dyson Award.
Engineering Hero Technology
Discover the engineers behind Dyson's hero technology
Read more about the inspiring female engineers behind iconic Dyson technology this International Women in Engineering Day and hear their advice of the next generation of #EngineeringHeroes.
Dyson Institute Engineering Heroes
Online Webinar: A Day in the Life of a Dyson Institute Student
To mark International Women in Engineering Day 2021 , join us online to find out what it’s like to be a student at the Dyson Institute, hosted by Dyson Undergraduate engineers. The event is free and focused towards inspiring young women in Years 10-13 to pursue careers in STEM.