Visiting Professor to help strengthen the future of engineering
Published on 5 October 2021
Staff and students are set to benefit from the expertise of one of the UK’s leading engineers as the University of Dundee welcomes a new Visiting Professor
Dr Ollie Folayan, a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and co-founder of the award-winning non-profit Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK), and chair of its Scottish arm, has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University’s School of Science and Engineering.
The Visiting Professor Scheme, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, aims to utilise the experience of Visiting Professors to enhance teaching and learning as well as the employability and skills of UK engineering degree students.
Current statistics show the UK engineering workforce consists of only 12% women and 7.8% from BAME backgrounds. In an effort to increase these figures, the School of Science and Engineering will work with Dr Folayan over the course of three years to embed aspects of diversity, inclusivity, teamwork and leadership into the curriculum.
“We are very excited with this opportunity to embark on what we expect to be a transformational journey that will create real change on the ground," said Professor José Fiadeiro, Dean of the University’s School of Science and Engineering.
“We need to acknowledge the complexity and breadth of lived experiences, and the need to combine student and staff voices to develop a meaningful and holistic strategy across the whole School.
“Ollie will provide us with expert leadership and his three-year appointment will afford us the time required to listen to, build trust and engage with the voice of the diverse groups concerned, as well as set up and deliver on an agenda for a more inclusive environment in which students can grow and become world-ready.”
Within his work with AFBE-UK and AFBE-UK Scotland, Dr Folayan has championed a number of successful outreach programmes that aim to empower future generations and promote diversity in the industry.
Through a series of workshops and interactive lectures, he will introduce students to a range of important skills and expose them to role models in a variety of engineering disciplines, providing practical help in preparing them for the job market.
“I am so thrilled to be given this opportunity,” said Dr Folayan. “It's a great opportunity to influence and embed some of the things my organisation has been doing in the community for years into the academic curriculum.
“What we want to do is create the ‘complete engineer’. Engineering forces are starting to rediscover the importance of issues like humanities and social justice as parts of the work that we do as engineers, so this is a great opportunity to explore and implement that.
“I hope that any successes we have during this time will be replicated in other schools of engineering.”
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