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Silver Award Self-Assessment Team


A cross-divisional Self-Assessment Team (SAT) coordinates 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 termly basis.

Representatives for particular groups

Undergraduate students: Shusma Balaji

Graduate students: Jocelino Rodrigues

Postdocs: Dr Pieter Desnerck

College Research Fellows: Dr Rasha Rezk

Division A: Dr Andy Wheeler

Division B: Dr Hannah Joyce

Division C: Drs Alexandre Kabla and Athina Markaki

Division D: Prof Tim Ibell

Division E: Drs Alexandra Brintrup and Mukesh Kumar

Division F: Dr Timothy O'Leary

Taught Master's Courses: Dr Dai Morgan

Computer Officers: Anna Langley

Technicians: Diana Thomas-McEwen

More about the members

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. 

Shusma Balaji, CUES' Diversity Officer

Shusma is an undergraduate student. She is also the Diversity Officer for the Cambridge University Engineering Society (CUES).

Jocelino Rodrigues, Graduate student

Jocelino obtained his Master's degree from the University of Bristol. He is now a second year PhD student at the Hopkinson Laboratory researching entropy noise and its effect on thermoacoustic instabilities, with the ultimate goal of reducing aircraft noise and greenhouse emissions.

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 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 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 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). She leads a research group focussed on developing new nano-structured materials for electronics and photonics. This group is 50% female and currently consists of 5 PhD students and 1 postdoc. Hannah's husband is also a researcher in Division B, and in November 2016 they welcomed a baby boy into their family.

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).

Prof Tim Ibell, Division D champion

Tim Ibell is the Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering. He is a
strong advocate for creativity being central to engineering education and
research, given its pivotal nature in engineering practice. He is determined
that the attraction to engineering should move on from being merely based on
STEM to something much broader and holistic.

Dr Alexandra Brintrup, Division E Champion

Dr Mukesh Kumar, Division E Champion

Dr Timothy O’Leary, Division F Champion

Timothy O’Leary joined Division F in 2016 as a Lecturer in Information Engineering and Medical Neuroscience. His research combines experimental and theoretical approaches to understand how control and feedback operate in the nervous system, and is increasingly interested in how biological diversity is exploited by living systems to solve tricky optimisation problems.

He trained as a mathematician at the University of Warwick and completed a PhD in experimental neurophysiology in the University of Edinburgh in 2009. Moving between disciplines opened his eyes to the stark differences in gender representation and diversity in different fields and institutions. This motivated him to try to understand and correct the current imbalances in many fields of engineering, having witnessed first-hand the enormous benefits that diversity adds to research, education and the workplace.

Lotta Kallioinen, HR Advisor

Anna Langley

Anna Langley is a computer officer working in the Information Engineering Division since 2003.  She has campaigned for LGBT+ rights in Australia and the UK since the 1980s, with a special emphasis on trans rights and marriage equality."

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

Lynne Meehan

Lynne is Librarian in the Department of Engineering. She works part-time and has two children. 

Dr Dai Morgan, Taught Master’s Course Champion

Dai is Deputy Course Director for the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development.

Nick Northrop, Research Office Administrator

Nick works in the Department's Research Office, the office is responsible for handling all matters surrounding our research staff and visitors. The Department currently has around 350 research staff and around 150 visitors. He joined the office in 2012 and is part of a team of five.

Diana Thomas-McEwen

Diana is chief technician in the Dyson Centre for Engineering and Design.  She is there to help all undergraduates (and some postgraduates) design and produce any ideas that come to them. Diana maintains and repairs the 3D printers, desktop CNC mill and laser cutters in the centre as well as writing user guides for all the equipment and create training schemes for students. She also assists in the daily running of the Centre.

Before joining the Centre Diana worked on offshore vessels (large boats) as a self sustained marine biologist, which along with attending to the biology of the sea, also involved trouble shooting and repairing and maintaining electrical and mechanical survey equipment. This made her an ideal person to teach undergraduate engineers to use equipment from a novices prospective.

Former SAT members

The following former SAT members were involved in the lead-up to the application for the Silver Award:

  • Professor Abir Al-Tabbaa
  • María Balson
  • Sally Collins-Taylor
  • Dr Vivien Gruar
  • Dr Hannah Joyce
  • Dr Kate Knill
  • Anna-Maria Kypraiou
  • Dr Alice Moncaster
  • Jimi Oluwole
  • Camille Bilger
  • Dr Anna Motta
  • Dr Jenni Sidey
  • Madeline McKerchar
  • Talay Cheema


You can contact the SAT on