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Silver Award Self-Assessment Team


A cross-divisional Self-Assessment Team (SAT) is leading the preparation of the Silver Award application and taking forward the ongoing Athena SWAN-related initiatives.

The SAT is Chaired by the Head of Department, and its members were appointed by him in consultation with the Academic Committee. The SAT meet on a monthly basis.


Professor David Cardwell, Head of the Department

David is Professor of Superconducting Engineering and Head of Department. He runs a relatively large research group (6 PhD students, 7 research associates, 2 technicians and numerous visitors) dedicated to understanding flux pinning in bulk superconductors and using these materials to generate world record magnetic fields. He and his wife, Sharon, have two grown-up children and have managed the work/life balance fairly well over many years. Travel associated with his current Departmental and fund-raising duties is an issue, but remains possible due to exceptionally strong family support.

Dr Claire Barlow, Deputy Head of the Department (Teaching)

Claire is Deputy Head of Department (Teaching), Senior Lecturer in Materials and Sustainability in Division E, Fellow and Director of Studies at Newnham. The Deputy Head duties mean she is now based at Trumpington Street, but her small research group is still at IfM on the West Cambridge site. She is particularly aware of the problems of split-site operation in the Department. 

Dr Andy Wheeler, Division A Champion

Andy is a lecturer and EPSRC Fellow at the Whittle Laboratory which is part of Division A. His research interests are related to gas turbine and turbomachinery flows. Andy is in charge of Admissions to the Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics.  He is also a member of the IMechE/RAeS Combined Propulsion committee, whose roles involve public communication of advances in aerospace propulsion technology through seminars and lectures, and by doing so, encourage and promote innovation and technological development. He has two small children (one boy, one girl), and his wife is also an academic.

Andy comments that in his experience, working within a University can offer many benefits in terms of achieving a sensible work-life balance (such as flexible working and a collegiate atmosphere), however there are still many challenges that need to be addressed, particularly for early-career academics who wish to start a family.

Dr Hannah Joyce, Division B Champion

Hannah is a University Lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Division (Division B). Hannah is married to another researcher in the Engineering Department and is expecting her first child. Her research group is 50% women, and currently consists of 2 PhD students, 1 postdoc and 3 master’s students.

Dr Alexandre Kabla, Division C Champion

Alexandre is Senior Lecturer in Bioengineering, and currently Director of Undergraduate Education in the Department. He runs a small research group (3 PhD students and 2 research associates) dedicated to understanding the mechanics of embryo development. His partner is a full time school teacher. They raise together a child since 2012. Work/life balance is an issue, but remains manageable thanks to family support.

Dr Athina Markaki, Division C Champion

Athina is a Lecturer in the Mechanics, Materials and Design Division.  She was a first time mother in 2011. After her maternity leave, she worked part-time during a period of graduated return. She runs a group of 5 PhD students (2 of them are females) and 2 post-docs (both of them are females). She was a member of the University’s Silver Self-Assessment Team (SAT) for an Athena SWAN Silver Award (2014). She co-chaired the Department’s Athena SWAN SAT for a Bronze Award (2013).

Dr Tim Minshall, Division E Champion

Tim is a Reader in Technology and Innovation Management and Director of the Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MEng year) which has 36% female students. He helps run the Women in Engineering Forum and is active in primary and secondary schools outreach activities. His wife also works for the University, and she moved from Biochemistry to Engineering following a career break for childcare reasons. They have two teenage children.

Dr Kate Knill, Division F Champion

Kate was a researcher and manager in industry for over 15 years.  She became a part-time Senior Research Associate three years ago to allow her to provide some care for her parents and has benefitted from the flexible working practices at the Department, often remotely. She is experienced at employing and developing women engineers and managing work-life balance in international, multi-time zone teams.

Dr Alice Moncaster, Taught Master’s Course and Division D Champion

Alice worked as a structural engineer in consultancy for many years, some part-time while caring for her two daughters. She moved to academia in 2008 and is now the deputy director of a masters course and a lecturer at the Department.  As well as her main research in sustainable construction she has also conducted research into gender issues. Alice is personally aware of some of the difficult issues that may be faced at each stage of life for women in academia and in engineering.

Dr Rasha Rezk, College Research Fellow

Rasha is a postdoctoral research associate working in the Mechanics, Materials and Design Division. In November 2015, she became a member of Robogal, an engineering society aiming to increase diversity in engineering by taking robotics workshops into schools.  Throughout her graduate studies at the Department, Rasha was extensively involved in organising sports and social activities for women at Wolfson College (as a president of student’s associations and as a captains of the women’s rowing teaming overseeing the implementation of recruitment, training and competitions women’s boats).

Dr Pieter Desnerck, Postdoc

Pieter Desnerck is a research associate in the concrete and composites structures group. He obtained his PhD from Ghent University (Belgium) and spend time working as an academic researcher in Canada and the United States, before joining the University of Cambridge. He is chair of the Engineering Department Postdoc Committee and Vice-Chair of the university-wide Departmental Postdoc Committee Chair Network.

Dr Jenni Sidey, University Lecturer

Jenni was appointed as a university lecturer within the Department’s Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery Division in 2016.  She also co-founded Robogals Cambridge, a student-run organisation aimed at encouraging young women to consider engineering and technology career paths by hosting robotics and programming workshops.  

Camille Bilger, Graduate student

Camille is a third year PhD student. She is the Acting Chair of the HeForShe UN Women Cambridge Society committee and helps organise events and workshops. Camille works in close partnership with the CUSU Women Officer and the University Gender Equality Network to keep the Engineering department connected to the community and events.

She is an Amelia Earhart Fellow funded by the Zonta International Foundation, which works to advance the status of women, alongside the United Nations and the Council of Europe

Talay Cheema, CUES' Diversity Officer

Talay is a fourth-year undergraduate student. He is also the Diversity Officer for the Cambridge University Engineering Society (CUES).

Dr Sue Jackson, Researcher Development

Sue looks after the ‘Researcher Development’ programme for PhD students and postdocs in the Department of Engineering to provide them personal and professional development plans and opportunities. A Chartered Engineer with a background in Materials Science, she joined the Department in 1999 on completion of a Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship for ‘women returners to work’ at Lucy Cavendish College (a Cambridge College for mature women) where she is now graduate tutor. She is a qualified Coach and is trained as a workshop designer and facilitator. She is married with two offspring.

Dr Miriam Lynn, E&D Consultant

Miriam is a member of the University’s Equality and Diversity team assigned to support the School of Technology and its departments

Sally Collins-Taylor, Secretary of the Department (Administration and HR)

Sally manages the Department's Human Resources functions for academic, academic-related and assistant staff and technicians.  She is a member of many departmental committees including the Academic Committee.

Madeline McKerchar, Secretary of the Faculty Board

Madeline is Secretary of the Faculty Board and also works for various other departmental committees and projects.  The Department supported her secondment to HEFCE’s REF team and enabled her to return to work part-time following maternity leave.  She is married to an engineer, who has also benefited from the Department’s flexible working policies, and they have one son.


You can contact the SAT on the Women in Engineering email address.

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