Equality, diversity and inclusion in engineering and physical sciences
Our Faculty is committed to creating and maintaining a work and study environment in which all our staff and students feel a sense of connectedness and belonging. We are dedicated to championing equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and building a culture where these values are fully embedded.
Our EDI mission
We believe in equal opportunity and a fairer future for all, and we nurture and support talent in both students and staff, irrespective of race, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability. The Faculty supports and promotes the University’s EDI strategy which aims to:
- Develop our inclusive and supportive culture
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- Advance equality of opportunities.
Everyone should be able to make a full contribution to society in their own unique way and live in a world which demonstrates respect and values EDI.
Working towards and promoting EDI
Athena SWAN is a global initiative run by Advance HE which aims to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Athena SWAN awards are given to institutions and departments/schools to recognise their commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
We are proud that, to date, Bronze awards have been awarded within our schools as follows:
- School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
- Computer science
- Electrical and electronic engineering
- School of Mathematics and Physics
- School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- School of Sustainability, Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Environment and sustainability.
Our Physics department is a member of the Institute of Physics equality and diversity initiative Project Juno, which recognises physics departments that promote gender equality at all levels and foster a more inclusive working environment.
The department has been awarded the prestigious Juno Champion status, receiving commendation for initiatives such as using feedback from the staff survey to inform the promotion process and introducing new, mandatory EDI training for undergraduates.
Learn about other University-wide accreditations, awards and schemes.
Faculty initiatives and projects
Around the Faculty, our staff and students are working towards EDI in a variety of ways, some of which we have highlighted.
We understand, however, that there is always work to do in the pursuit of EDI, and we welcome ideas and suggestions on how we can progress. We know it is an ongoing process and we aim for continuous improvement.
Our physics diversity wall celebrates the rich diversity of physicists both historically and today, and aims to shatter stereotypes about the types of people who work in physics and the work that they do.
Find out more about our Physics Diversity Wall.
The University of Surrey’s Women in Engineering Society (WES) aims to provide social, educational and networking opportunities for everyone who wants to see more women involved with engineering and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
It is affiliated with the Women’s Engineering Society which is a charity and professional network of women who offer inspiration, support and development to its members.
The working group aims to provide a space for women in engineering at the University to connect and grow together and to stimulate women to achieve their full potential in their careers.
- Dr Tan Sui, Senior Lecturer, School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- Surrey-WES partnership contact, EPSRC-WES member first cohort
- Dr Bing Guo, Lecturer, School of Sustainability, Civil and Environmental Engineering
- WES academic support for student group
- Dr Kelly Kousi, Lecturer, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- Chief editor, website manager and mentor for NGO Greek Women in STEM.
If you would like to get involved, please email Dr Tan Sui (email@example.com).
Working towards and championing EDI, our students have:
- Written articles on racism in science for the Doctoral College newsletter and Incite magazine
- Created a bursary to provide students with financial support for new technology and to support students through interviews by funding business attire and transport
- Helped to set up the Ramadan Iftar Campaign, raise sponsorship money and distribute over 150 free meals every day during Ramadan
- Curated a list of neurodiversity resources and contributed to the Doctoral College training programme
- Raised money for Blueprint for All, a charity which works with young people, communities and organisations to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or background, is provided with tangible opportunities to thrive.
They have also:
- A workshop for postgraduate research students and early career researchers entitled 'tackling racism in the academy'
- An open mic night to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter Movement
- A presentation aimed at men supporting women in the workplace
- An ethics and equality talk for postgraduate research students
- Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and tech industry panels
- A joint panel event between Women in Engineering Society working group (WES), Engineers Without Borders and CivSoc for International Women's Day.
Founded groups and led projects
- Anti-racism reading group
- 93% Club Society and 93% Talks podcast
- Neurodivergent in STEM project
- Quantum Garden Project
- Surrey Neurodiversity Network
- Library curation projects entitled 'empowering women', 'talking about mental health' and 'navigating neurodiversity.'
Acted in roles of responsibility
- Department liaison officer within WES
- Peer support and mentoring manager for the Intersectional PhD Peer Support Network
- Board member of the Association for Black and Ethnic Minority Engineers
- Assistant instructor for Code First Girl's Web Development course
- Member of the Decolonising Surrey working group
- Wellbeing and inclusion officer for the Pakistani Society
- Member of the Student Union's Liberation Network.
EDI Student Award
In May each year, final year students are invited to nominate either themselves or another student for the EDI Award which is presented at Graduation. A monetary prize is awarded to the student who has made the most significant contribution to enhancing or supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.
This may include, but is not restricted to:
- Introducing and running events/activities
- Peer support/mentoring
- Creating effective resources (eg. digital, literary, artistic)
- Volunteer work of relevance to the student population
- Contributing to curriculum or module design
- Setting-up or contributing to societies
- Acting as a positive role model who consistently champions EDI
- Achieving impact and reach externally as well as internally
- Demonstrating innovation in EDI activities.
One previous winner, as one of the only Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Peer Support mentors, increased visibility of Student Support services to other BAME students. They were also involved in several other mentoring schemes across the University during their time at Surrey, winning the Learning Through Experience Certificate and the Student Life Mentoring Award. They advocated for further student life mentoring services and acted as Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer for the Pakistani Society.
Another previous winner raised awareness of neurodiversity in STEM by founding and co-chairing neurodiversity networks, managing the ‘Neurodiversity at Surrey’ blog, putting together a library curation project and founding the ‘Neurodivergent in STEM’ project. They curated a list of neurodiversity resources, contributed to training programmes and held various positions of responsibility, representing neurodiverse students.
School EDI groups
Each of our schools have an EDI group where staff and students come together to discuss issues and ideas relating to EDI.
The groups meet regularly and report into the Faculty EDI Committee which sets related strategy and policy.
Join our EDI representatives
We believe that everyone has a responsibility to champion EDI in the Faculty and across the University but if you are interested in starting an initiative or getting involved in our EDI groups, the Faculty would love to hear from you.
EDI representatives encourage feedback from others, communicate others’ experiences and report back any changes that this feedback effects.
If you are interested in being a student EDI representative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty HR Manager
Equality and Diversity Adviser
Director of Faculty Operations