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Brunel Design School's dean wins Top 50 Women in Engineering award


In a ceremony held by the Women's Engineering Society's to celebrate the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, Brunel University London's Prof Hua Dong has been recognised as one of the UK's Engineering Heroes. 

The Top 50 Women in Engineering awards are a UK event linked to International Women in Engineering Day, the celebration of women in engineering that takes place on 23 June each year, and rewards those renowned for recognising a problem, then daring to be part of the solution – and who undertake everyday 'heroics' as much as emergency ones. 

Over the past year, engineers have stepped up to help keep us safe and solve some of the problems caused by the extraordinary public health crisis of the coronavirus pandemic – 'protectors' or 'defenders' in the literal sense of the Greek word hērōs

Prof Dong, Professor in Design and Dean of the Brunel Design School, is one of them. She utilised her research, skills and network to help tackle the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the UK during the pandemic, helping the NHS through difficult times. And the citation for her award – featured in an article in The Guardian newspaper, in conjunction with awards sponsor Assystem UK – commends how Prof Dong champions inclusive design, with a collaborative project resulting in the launch of a new platform and book, Inclusive Design + Social Innovation: a Methodology and Case Studies

"I am honoured to receive the Top 50 Women in Engineering 2021 Award," said Prof Dong, who joined Brunel last year. "It is inspiring to hear women engineers’ stories at the Women’s Engineering Society Conference. I would encourage Brunel women engineers and designers to put themselves forward for their achievements."  


For Elizabeth Donnelly, CEO of the Women's Engineering Society, today's awards are – in addition to being a celebration – a way to counter the misunderstanding about what engineers actually do. 

"There’s an outdated perception that they just wear hard hats and build bridges," she said, and the award-winners showcase the hugely diverse, rewarding and varied career options engineering offers. 

"They’ve helped protect us from Covid-19 by manufacturing ventilators and PPE, they’ve kept the power on in areas that have been hit by natural disasters, helped reduce carbon emissions and managed energy supplies to help tackle the climate emergency," she added. 

Find out more about the Brunel Design School, and about Women in Brunel Engineering and Computing.

Reported by:

Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
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