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Welcoming our women engineers on Ada Lovelace Day

Posted on 11/10/2016
EE new staff

New Lecturers, Dr Wenqing Liu (left) and Dr Stefanie Kuenzel (right) have joined the Department of Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway

Today is Ada Lovelace Day (11 October 2016), celebrated across the world to highlight the achievements of modern women in STEM - science, technology, engineering, and maths, and at Royal Holloway we are welcoming new female engineers to the Department of Electronic Engineering, Dr Stefanie Kuenzel and Dr Wenqing Liu.

Dr Stefanie Kuenzel joins Royal Holloway from Imperial College, London and her research interests include wind turbine generators and high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission. Dr Kuenzel also works in close collaboration with the National Grid UK.

Dr Wenqing Liu joins the College from the University of Cambridge. Dr Liu’s research interests include nanotechnology, spintronics, nanomagnetism, and low-dimensional material and systems, and she is also a visiting research scholar at the University of Hong Kong and assistant director of the York-Nanjing Joint Centre (YNJC) for Spintronics and Nanoengineering.

The new appointments join Professor David Howard, Head of Electronic Engineering at an important stage in the development of the new department at Royal Holloway, recruiting the first cohort of students to join in September 2017. The department is in receipt of an HEFCE-funded development initiative to encourage more female engineers to address the national shortage; a recent skills survey conducted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) revealed that women make up just 9% of the UK's engineering workforce.

Dr Kuenzel commented,

“Ada Lovelace is of special significance to our department, after all where would Electronic Engineering be without the invention of computers? We are privileged to live in a time where everyone can freely follow their passion for engineering, regardless of who they are.”

Ada Lovelace Day serves to remind us why it’s important for women to be able to enter STEM education and industry. From a young age, she was fascinated with the new inventions of the industrial revolution that filled the scientific magazines of the time, and her expansion and translation of the works of the Italian mathematician, Luigi Menabrea, was ground-breaking. She was described as the ‘enchantress who threw her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences’ in a Victorian patriarchal intellectual world.


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