CIWM to fund Oxford University’s Uncover Engineering programme

CIWM to fund Oxford University’s Uncover Engineering programme

CIWM is pleased to announce that it is to fund Oxford University’s ‘Uncover Engineering’ programme. The programme is designed to increase the number of engineering students from socio-economically disadvantaged or under-represented backgrounds and help address the UK skills shortage.

Agreed for five years, CIWM funding will enable 36 female and 36 black or mixed black heritage students in year 10 to attend a four-day Engineering residential programme at Oxford University per year, including all teaching, accommodation, food and site visit costs. Hosted by the University’s Department of Engineering Science, participants will stay in one of the University’s historic colleges and take part in workshops in Oxford Engineering’s cutting-edge laboratories. First year funding for attendance on the Oxford programme was supported by the Waste Environmental Education Research Trust (WEERT).

In addition to the academic sessions, the Uncover timetable will also include enrichment activities to encourage the participants to start thinking about their future in higher education, and beyond to their careers. By giving the students an insight into university and other pathways into engineering, it is hoped that they will begin to look ahead to their own futures and have the skills required to start exploring where their education can take them.

As part of the programme, students will visit a company, where they are able to see some practical applications of the subjects they could choose to study at university. In the past this has included Viridor’s Ardley Energy Recovery Facility, the Grundon/Viridor Colnbrook Energy Recovery Facility and the BMW Mini Factory.

Commenting on the Trustees’ decision to approve funding for Uncover Engineering, CIWM’s Honorary Treasurer, John Kutner, said: “Improving our ability to encourage more engineering applications from female, Black or mixed Black heritage students is fully aligned with the CIWM’s EDI ambitions. It is also vital to addressing the skills gap that exists in the resource management sector and more broadly in terms of skilled scientists or engineers. In addition to increasing applications from underrepresented sections of society, the Uncover Engineering programme will inspire UK students to consider careers in engineering and encourage them to apply to study Engineering for further education.”

Department of Engineering Science Outreach Fellow, Professor Antoine Jérusalem, said: “The announcement represents a fantastic expansion of the Uncover programme following our first residential for female students earlier this year, aimed at encouraging more women to consider engineering as a career. The unique approach that we developed, and in particular the decision to engage students from disadvantaged or under-represented backgrounds in discovering engineering early on in their studies, was extremely well received by our first cohort of 34 female/gender-fluid year 10 students. The funding from CIWM means we can continue to run Uncover for female students over the next 5 years and also expand the programme to include male and female students of black and mixed-black heritage, thereby reaching even more students who might not necessarily have considered engineering as a career.”

Neil Grundon, Trustee with WEERT, said: “We welcome CIWM’s support for this important schools programme which we hope will encourage more year 10 female students and black or mixed black heritage students into engineering, as well acquainting them with the waste industry through site visits.”

CIWM will fund the programme via WEERT which is a trust linked to the ESA. WEERT will work with Oxford University to deliver the project.

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