The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Empowering young women in engineering

30 June 2023

Last week, the Leeds Hospital Challenge returned for the second year running to inspire and support young women in the region into engineering. The challenge was held in Arup’s Leeds office in partnership with our Building the Leeds Way Programme Team.

The year 11 students from Batley Girls’ High School gained a fascinating insight into careers in engineering through a workshop exploring the challenge of designing a future-proof hospital.  The students took part in creative tasks that including simulating planning and building the new hospital in Leeds using paper, straws, and Sellotape and encouraging them to think about design, structures, and sustainability. The workshop aimed at opening the doors to potential future vocation opportunities

Members of Trust and Arup’s project team also discussed their own education and career with the young students, to help them learn more about future career paths. Feedback on the day was extremely positive with students commenting they had enjoyed learning about the opportunities in engineering vocations. 

One of the students said: “Meeting different professionals from the engineering industry has exposed her to the possibilities in engineering and will support her decision of following a STEM career.”

Programme Director of the new hospitals at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Mike Bacon, commented: “As plans for our new hospital building at the LGI site have been re-confirmed as being fully supported, it is important to ensure our communities benefit as much as possible from this once in a life-time opportunity and, in particular, where we can encourage new talent into design and construction roles through supporting opportunities to inspire under-represented groups in Leeds and across the wider region. We are delighted to work with Arup again and we hope to inspire the next generation of young women to pursue a career in engineering.”

Chandan Parmar, Senior Engineer to 'Arup's Lead for the Leeds Hospital Challenge' said: “Every day at Arup, women are pushing boundaries and realising incredible engineering feats. Arup is proud to take part in the Leeds Hospital Challenge - we hope to inspire a new generation of students to pursue careers in science and engineering.” 

Director of Skills and Employability at IVE, Chris Strong, said: "This was an inspiring experience for all who took part, but more than that, it showed young women that firms like ARUP genuinely need their talents and skills. We must forge more partnerships between education and industry so that exceptional opportunities like this become the norm. By working together, we can ensure that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential.”

This event is part of a project called Effective transitions which involves West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), the Careers Enterprise Company and funded by JP Morgan."