BME Women Studying for a Sustainable Future

BME Women are Studying to Create a Sustainable Future

On Tuesday 1 December EngineeringUK will launch its annual report on the state of UK Engineering. Although the report shows major a shortfall of half a million engineering and manufacturing workers needed by 2017 to ensure economic recovery, it also reveals that Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women are taking a greater role in acquiring the skills needed for creating a sustainable future for the UK.

Chemical, process and energy engineering looks into areas like environmentally friendly energy processes, ways of cutting pollution and waste and sustainable food and water provisions. The latest figures from Engineering UK show that it is BME women who are taking a real interest in this area. Over 40% of the women achieving undergraduate degrees in chemical, process and energy engineering were from BME origin and also accounted for 25% of all those taking the courses overall.

Women are generally taking a greater lead in this degree than ever before with 19% more women completing this degree in 2008.

BME students also made up nearly half of the higher degrees (Masters, Doctorates etc) taken in chemical, process and energy engineering.

BME students are generally taking a greater role in achieving engineering degrees in the last year. Overall there was a 10% increase in the number of BME students achieving engineering degrees in 2008 when the overall number actually dropped.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, said: “Engineering has always played a vital role in our society. Who knows what future challenges today’s engineering students and graduates will be meeting tomorrow. They could be creating renewable energy processes or enabling sustainable water supplies.”


Notes to Editors
1. Percentages of females achieving chemical, process and energy engineering degrees in 2008 by origin

White – 54%, Asian – 16%, Black –16%, Chinese – 6%, Mixed ethnicity – 3%, Unknown – 5%

2. Chemical, process and energy engineering
Chemical, process and energy engineering deals with several areas, including but not limited to:

Sustainability eg. implementing sustainable approaches to waste reduction

Energy eg. pre and post combustion technology options for CO2 capture from fossil fuels, looking at Biofuels and the challenges of energy supply
Food and drink eg. sustainable food production and agriculture
Bioprocess and bio systems eg. pollution abatement, sustainable processing and innovation within the bioprocess sector
Water eg. the challenge of providing sustainable water systems for major metropolitan areas

3. EngineeringUK
EngineeringUK, formerly the ETB, is an independent organisation that promotes the vital contribution of engineers, engineering and technology in our society. EngineeringUK partners business and industry, government and the wider science and engineering community: producing evidence on the state of engineering, sharing knowledge within engineering and inspiring young people to choose a career in engineering, matching employers’ demand for skills. For more information about EngineeringUK please visit

For further information please contact:
Laura Marsh, PR and Communications Manager
Tel: 020 3206 0444 or (m) 07887 943 017