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Wall of Women to help inspire more girls to study engineering


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Women engineers from the University of Sheffield are sharing their own personal stories in order to help more girls study engineering and go on to develop a career in the industry.

The Wall of Women, launched by the University’s Faculty of Engineering, features the personal stories of some of the women who have studied, worked or graduated into successful careers in engineering from Sheffield over the past five years.

Among the engineers on the wall is Dounia Bakira, an Applications Engineer at Rotherham-based AESSEAL, who had a difficult journey to becoming a chemical engineer, but she graduated with a first class degree. Dounia has shared her story through the Wall of Women in the hope of inspiring others.

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Dounia said: “After moving to the UK from Morocco and after four years of marriage, I found myself divorced with a two year old daughter. I felt lonely, hopeless and sad. A change in circumstances meant I had to find a new way to support my daughter. I started my journey by studying GCSEs at Liverpool City College, then moved to Bradford to study A levels since it offers day time courses for mature students.

“The diversity in the university offered a welcoming atmosphere, where I felt comfortable to grow and build connections with people from diverse backgrounds. I saw opportunities for personal development and enhancing my soft skills through the many societies and activities.

“As well as achieving a first class degree, I have been a member of the Women in Engineering Student Society, acquired a scholarship and done two internships: at the University of Sheffield and at the University of Sheffield AMRC.

“Humanity is currently facing, and will continue to face, challenges in the future, so engineers will play a central key role in tackling these challenges. Therefore, there are infinite career opportunities for engineers as a whole.”

With its global headquarters at Templeborough, AESSEAL designs and manufactures mechanical seals and support systems.

Dounia added: “With AESSEAL I have all the tools I need to make a successful career. AESSEAL is one of the leading engineering companies who supports efforts in the areas of gender equality in engineering. I am pleased to be a woman still actively raising awareness of engineering and encouraging more girls to study STEM subjects in primary schools. I have been involved in activities and events held on site, which aim to show the young generation how fun engineering can be.”

Images: University of Sheffield

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Tom Austen
Tom grew up in Aston, Rotherham and studied Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University before developing a passion for promoting Rotherham and a nose for a good story.


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