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Social Aspects

Proposal for a Working Group on Social Aspects within EurAAP


Background
Electrical engineering suffers of a lack of “vocations”: students, especially women, are not drawn to this matter. This can be linked to different reasons, as for example:
  • Lack of “prestige” and recognition of engineering work
  • Ignorance of the reality of engineering work
  • Threat of job losses due to delocalisation of the production
Several initiatives have been implemented at a local level, or with a limited duration (gender issues and dissemination activities of the ACE Network of Excellence, Focus Area on “The Future of Antenna Engineering - Educational Aspects” in the COST ASSIST Action). Yet, it is fundamental to have a broader and more coordinated approach. This Working Group (WG6) within EurAAP tries to deal with these problems.
Objectives and structure
To approach the problems, three different Sub-Working Groups (i.e. three different Work Packages, WPs) should be defined to address specific points. A first proposal for the different WPs and their task is as follows:

WP6.1: The future of electrical engineering
  • Analyse the problems of education in electrical engineering
  • Suggest strategies to acquire students for electrical engineering
  • Organise specific workshops to discuss the problems
  • Organise events to present antennas and propagation engineering in schools and other educational environments
  • Contact with students and teachers of primary and secondary education
  • Foster the involvement of undergraduate students, to encourage them to choose the field of electromagnetics
  • Encourage the participation of undergraduate and PhD students in EurAAP activities
  • (Current activities)
    Organising the Special Session: “The Future of Antenna Engineering - Educational Aspects” at EuCAP 2009 in Berlin, in cooperation with Focus Area F of the COST Action IC0603 ASSIST. The session is foreseen to consist of a small number (3 or 4) keynote addresses that will be followed by a panel discussion on the topic. The main goal of this event is to represent a forum when the current disquieting trends in Antenna Engineering education will be openly catalogued and effective measures for reversing these trends will be sought for.
WP6.2: EurAAP women participation
  • Monitor the situation of women professionals
  • Foster the presence of women in electrical engineering studies/profession
  • Encourage the exchange of experiences through meetings, round tables, workshops…
  • Implement a mentoring programme
  • Check the possibility of creating a web-based forum
  • (Current activities)
    Organising the course “Antenna Project Management” of the European School of Antennas”, jointly with the COST Action IC0603 ASSIST. The organisation and tuition of this course is entirely carried out by women engineers. The aim of this course is twofold. First, it is important that students become familiar with the reality and processes of project management. These are topics often forgotten in academic studies, and of great relevance for the industrial work. Secondly, this course wants to emphasize the role of women engineers, presenting them in a matter-of-fact way, as top-level professionals both from academia and industry.
WP6.3: Contact with the society/dissemination/public recognition
  • Contact the media to inform of the activities of EurAAP and its associates
  • Interact with other institutions at a local, national and international level
  • Organise events for the general public
  • Foster the publications of articles addressed to non-scientific readers
  • Possibly, creating an EurAAP recognition award for people contributing to the prestige of the profession

 
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