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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: Talay Cheema

Graduate students: Camille Bilger

Postdocs: Dr Pieter Desnerck

College Research Fellows: Dr Rasha Rezk

Division A: Dr Andy Wheeler

Division B: Dr Anna Motta

Division C: Drs Alexandre Kabla and Athina Markaki

Division D: TBC

Division E: Dr Tim Minshall

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

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. 

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

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.

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 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 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 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.

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

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).

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.

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 Dai Morgan, Taught Master’s Course Champion

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

Dr Anna Motta, Division B Champion

Anna is Project Manager and Technology Transfer Officer for the Cambridge Graphene Centre.

Nick Northrop, Research Office Administrator

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.

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 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.  

Jenni won the prestigious IET Young Woman of the Year Award in 2016.

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.

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.

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


You can contact the SAT on