Georgia Collis, Shae Wallis, Hannah Eastlake and Mary Owen are undergraduate students at Loughborough University and they are competing in the Red Bull Soapbox Race 2022 - they’ve called their team “The 11%” to reflect the number of women engineers on their course.
Taking place on 3 July, Red Bull Soapbox is a national annual competition to create the most creative and whacky go-kart style soapboxes. They are then raced down a track full of obstacles, powered only by the effects of gravity. ‘The 11%’ are using this competition as a fun and exciting way to display their engineering skills and show off just how much talented engineers can accomplish.
With International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) coming up on 23 June, we spoke to the students about the challenges of being a female engineer and asked them why the younger generation should consider a career in engineering.
Georgia Collis said:
“Engineering, whatever the discipline, gives you the opportunity to solve problems and innovate in ways that truly make a difference. For girls in particular – now is the best time to shine! There is still a massive disparity in the proportion of girls doing engineering and yet we often see it is the most diverse groups that succeed.
The gender gap must close; women make up half the population, it only makes sense that we include more of us in this field too.”
One of Georgia’s personal goals is to continue to inspire girls into engineering – she is currently training to become a STEM Ambassador. Both Shae and Hannah are hoping to work in Formula One, and Mary looks to building her knowledge and experience in the industry before applying this to a charity in a less economically developed country.
Leadership, respect, and confidence; all attributes associated with a peacock, which is why the team chose to go with this design. They wanted to make an impact, to leave a “magnificent and memorable lasting impression on the race” and by looking at their design, we believe they are heading in that direction!
To design and built their prototype, the students are fitting in with INWED’s theme for 2022, which is “Inventors and Innovators” – creating something extraordinary and applying their engineering knowledge and skills to this project.
We would like to wish ‘The 11%’ luck with their race, we’re supporting you all the way!
If you would like to donate to the team, take a look at their JustGiving page. Any additional or leftover funds they receive, will be donated to a charity supporting girls’ education.