Colleagues from the Inclusive Engineering Excellence Hub receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Advocates and Allies from Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Jennings.

Inclusive Engineering Excellence Hub recognised by Royal Academy of Engineering

Loughborough's commitment to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within engineering has gained strong recognition from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

In the 2023 RAEng Annual Report, the University’s Inclusive Engineering Excellence Hub (IEEH) is featured as a Diversity Impact Case Study highlighting the passion and commitment displayed by the team in fostering an inclusive learning environment and driving positive change within engineering.

This recognition follows on from the IEEH receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Advocates and Allies.

Loughborough University is one of 19 institutions to receive funding from the RAEng, which was used to co-create the IEEH. This initiative adopted an intersectional approach to develop inclusive learning environments, enhance opportunities for students from all backgrounds and ensure that every student feels welcomed and valued.

Dr Elizabeth Ratcliffe, Senior Lecturer in Biological Engineering and Director of EDI for the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering shares her insights on this achievement:

“Our newly refurbished space comprises accessible study and activity zones peer-led by student ambassadors, a kitchen, and a relaxed area to create a common room-like environment that supports students affected by the cost-of-living crisis with dignity. We've also created a support zone for daily drop-in access to services like career networking and student success coaching.

Sheryl Williams, Professor in Technology Enhanced Learning, Laura Justham, Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning, and I have led a programme of activities to generate interest. From encouraging students to become Inclusive Engineering Hub ambassadors and EDI Champions to organising engineering, professional skills and self-care activities, which comprise hands-on inspirational demonstrations covering everything from bioreactors and robotics to programming and workshops.

One of the most significant benefits of Loughborough University's partnership with the RAE has been the unwavering support and acceleration provided for their initial vision. This stems from the openness and flexibility of working with the RAE's program officer and team, all of whom share a genuine interest in making a positive difference and driving change for engineering and society. It's a partnership rooted in progressive leadership, diversity, inclusion, excellence, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.”

The recognition of the IEEH by the Royal Academy of Engineering is a testament to the impactful work at Loughborough University to create a more inclusive and diverse engineering community. Through their commitment to fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for students from all backgrounds, we are helping to shape the future of engineering education and industries.

The IEEH’s work is further strengthened by the Inclusive Engineering – People to Products research cluster to develop future leaders in engineering with expertise in EDI practices in engineering research and technology development.