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This summer we’ve welcomed five female summer interns to the IES team – Galila Khougali (MEng Architectural Engineering, Heriot-Watt), Melanie Gines (MEng Architectural Engineering, Heriot-Watt), Agata Mamcarz (MEng Architectural Engineering, Heriot-Watt), Zoe Richardson (BSc Computing Science, Uniof the West of Scotland) and Ildiko Szabo (BSc Computing Science, Uniof the West of Scotland).

As a STEM employer we are striving to encourage and support more females stepping into STEM careers. Which is why we’ve become a member of Equate Scotland and have joined them in their Women in STEM campaign.

Three of this year’s interns were sourced via Careerwise – a ground breaking placement scheme exclusively for women studying STEM subjects at Scottish Universities and Colleges, provided by Equate Scotland.

The 5 students are working across IES in software development, web systems development and building services engineering. We work hard at IES to create a culture that welcomes in talented students and helps them develop first-hand experience that they can take on to progress their careers.

Every year we offer internships to students at Scottish Universities, many of whom go on to full time positions at IES. Keep an eye on the careers section of our website for upcoming opportunities.

It is estimated that only 25% of Scotland’s STEM sector are women. We will continue to try and do our part to increase this figure for the economic and social reasons outlined by Equate Scotland…

Increasing the number of women in STEM is the economically right thing to do – evidence tells us that a diverse workforce is a more profitable and successful industry.

Increasing the number of women in STEM is the socially right thing to do – the jobs of the future are in the STEM industry, we must open the doors to these jobs to women, or we risk locking them out of opportunity.

Every year, The Princeton Review issues ranking lists for colleges and universities. Everything from ‘Best Career Services’ to ‘Top Party School’ (this list always gets quite the online buzz).

And for the past two years, The Princeton Review has added a ‘Guide to Green Colleges.’

The second annual Green Colleges guide was compiled in response to growing interest among students and families in how universities are making their campuses and curricula more sustainable.

“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said Robert Franek, Senior VP, Publishing, The Princeton Review. “Among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.”

Each profile within the guide features “Green Facts,” showcasing the school’s recycling, use of renewable energy, and conservation programs.

Nationwide, there is a growing interest in sustainability among teenagers, and this is translated in their desire to attend a university that offers not only excellent curriculum, but a focus on the future. At a time when getting into a university, any university, is becoming more competitive, it’s interesting to see the shift in thinking as students look to apply to schools.

As universities continue to jump into sustainability and offer more design courses and majors in these growing fields, it will be interesting to see how the ‘Guide to Green Colleges’ evolves. Maybe one day it will be the most talked about ranking from The Princeton Review every year. Although there will always be the party list…

In case you missed it, IES is offering colleges and universities around the globe free Academic Licenses for our early stage analysis tool VE-Gaia. This is an ideal opportunity for educators to embed sustainable analysis into their curriculum. Any institution offering Architectural or Sustainable Design courses will find this tool invaluable, as students continue to look to sustainable design as a career choice.

Architect Barbie has a new house!

Posted: August 10, 2011 by , Category:Architects, careers

Earlier this year, AIA challenged its member to design a dream house for Barbie — yes, Ms. Barbra Millicent Roberts herself. The AIA Barbie® Dream House Design Competition is part of Mattel’s spotlight on architecture as its “Career of the Year” for Barbie.

And it looks like the competition was a success! With more than 30 entries, the design submitted by Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP and Maja Paklar, Assoc. AIA, took home top honors.

This Mother Nature Network article, “A palace fit for a doll: Barbie gets new green digs in Malibu,” links to the winning design.

Now you would think with such a high-profile “character” as Barbie, this would be a positive for the architecture community. Unfortunately, some of the articles I’m seeing online actually think the architecture profession itself needs a makeover, not just a new spokeswoman.

In an opinion piece on The Christian Science Monitor, John Cary states”Architect Barbie’ builds a dream home, but her profession needs a makeover.’

According to the article, “The American Institute of Architects has

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announced the winners of its contest to build a dream home for the Mattel doll, ‘Architect Barbie.’ The contest misses the point that the severe gender gap in architecture is a problem of retaining women — not one of recruiting them.”

What do you think? Does the architecture community have an issue retaining women? And if you answer yes, is that an issue exclusive to architects, or all professional careers?

I was recently asked to complete an interview questionnaire for the CIBSE Young Members website. Having benefitted from CIBSE Young Engineer’s activities over the years, I was more than happy to help out.

CIBSE YE offers graduates and school leavers an opportunity to find out more about the industry, meet recent graduates working in the profession, and gives young engineers a chance to network with peers and even prospective employers.

One of my interview questions focussed on advice to students and graduates. My guidance was to take heed of the rapidly changing nature of the industry. With sustainability at the centre of what we do, forward-thinking young engineers are in a strong position to make a real difference to the way we design buildings. This was summed up very well in an interview I read recently with David C.J. Peters, an HVAC consulting engineer for US firm Southland Industries. You can read the full interview at Consulting Specifying Engineer here.

In addition, one of my colleagues Liam Buckley, was one of the six shortlisted in the this year’s CIBSE/ASHRAE Graduate of the Year Award. You can read about all their hopes for their careers and the future of building services engineering in CIBSE Journal – unsurprisingly it oozes green ambition!

Many graduates and school leavers are unaware of the sheer scale of the building services industry, and the myriad of career opportunities within. So, if you’re a student or recent graduate considering a career in the built environment, CIBSE YE is a great first point of reference.

Check out mine and past interviews on the CIBSE YE website.


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