University of West London: Celebrating women in science

University of West London: Celebrating women in science

Studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at the University of West London (UWL) School of Computing and Engineering is a great choice for your future. Among many other achievements, UWL has been named Best Modern University in the UK for Civil Engineering (Guardian University Guide 2024) *. UWL also has plenty of active research groups — each welcoming you to explore, join and make an impact.

What makes the University stand out the most, however, is how it encourages, supports and celebrates women in STEM — evident through its long list of faculty members dedicated to this cause. You will find that many of them are committee members of Women In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WInSTEM).

WInSTEM members, each showcasing their expertise using books and equipment that represents their specific fields. Source: University of West London

“The reality is that -so much originates from STEM,” says Dr. Anastasia Sofroniou, chair of WInSTEM at UWL.“ there will always be Science, Technology, Engineering, and most definitely, we will always have Mathematics, laying the foundations for complex thinking abilities.”

WInSTEM is a committee stemming from the School of Computing and Engineering that aims to provide inspiration and motivation to women and young girls, encouraging them to pursue STEM studies or careers, as per the expertise and field specialisation of the existing members. “WInSTEM underlines that STEM subjects are reachable to everyone, promoting fairness of gender yet also emphasising the diverse contributions of women in these sectors,” says Sofroniou.

Despite being in a male-dominated industry, Sofroniou has always been drawn to the beauty of mathematics, from tackling problems to finding elegant solutions. “As a mathematician, the questions ‘why’ and ‘how’ are critical, and I am always looking for arguments that answer these,” she says. “The importance of mathematics is another driver for my fondness for the subject, as it can be seen in almost every aspect of life, exhibited all around us: in nature, science, medicine, engineering, finance and economics, through to emerging technologies.”

More than just a means to learn how to think logically, mathematics is deeply embedded in our world and beyond. If you want to figure out the circumference of an eye pupil or the rings of Saturn, you use the pi equation. If you study the greatest destruction in World War Two – the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – you’ll see it’s powered by an equation E = mc2.

The University of West London encourages, supports and celebrates women in STEM. Source: University of West London

Sofroniou is driven by the function of mathematics as a valuable tool and function of the world and this shows in her work. Beyond inspiring students as the course leader for both the BSc and MSc Mathematics and Statistics, Sofroniou is also the STEM UK Ambassador and the Chair of WInSTEM for the Academic Year 2022/23.

A key part of her latter role includes leading outreach activities like school visits to the university campus. Members also visit schools for numerous opportunities, such as networking events, careers/higher education fairs, motivational and inspirational talks, lab activities and exhibitions, subject-specific workshops, and more.

A recent highlight for the WInSTEM committee was the visit from Professor Nira Chamberlain (OBE, CMath, FIMA, FORS), known as the “world’s most interesting mathematician”. He is also listed in the “Top 100 Most Influential Black Person in the UK” and the “Top 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in UK Tech” by the PowerList 2022. “His motivational talk enabled the participants to see that with hard work, diligence and perseverance they can achieve their goals whatever obstacles they might encounter along the way,” says Sofroniou.

Another memorable guest speaker was Betty Bonnardel-Azzarelli (MBE), CEO and founder of B Corp and award-winning AB5 Consulting, which delivers innovative solutions in telecoms, space, satellite, nuclear and energy sectors. “It was a pleasure to hear her talk about ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality – how we can all contribute,’ highlighting her own personal journey and experiences, driving a worthy discussion thereafter about future employment opportunities with our students,” says Sofroniou.

STEM subjects at University of West London offer an unbeatable combination of support, challenge and reward, especially for female students. Source: University of West London

Excellent teaching, career-focused courses

A degree from a university ranked Best University for Teaching Quality in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024) can take your career far. As courses are taught by industry experts, you will benefit from their insight, experience and support as they help to prepare you for your future career.

If your passion lies in Computing and Engineering, choose from the School’s suite of engineering programmes that offer a diverse range of specialisations, covering fields such as mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical and computer engineering. At the PhD level, you can choose from a wide range of subjects that include artificial intelligence, robotics, civil engineering, cybersecurity, sensing, localisation and contextual data analytics, and more.

With access to seven laboratories and studios, including a concrete testing lab, a soil and geotechnics lab and well-equipped electronics labs, and support from research-active lecturers, the sky is the limit for you — with more to come.

Future students can look forward to joining a vibrant community, with close to 3,000 talented students based at its lovely and leafy west London campus.

To find the right STEM programme at the University of West London, click here.

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*Modern universities are higher education institutions that were granted university status in, and subsequent to, 1992