Science Museum shines spotlight on engineers with new gallery

The Science Museum have opened a new gallery to showcase ground-breaking innovations in engineering and shine the spotlight on the engineers who designed them.

Alongside the objects are the personal stories and portraits of the people behind the inventions, who come from from a diverse range of industries including farming, fashion, robotics and medicine.

Curator of Space Technology, Heather Bennett, said: “It is all about the people. It’s called engineers, as opposed to engineering for that exact reason.

“We want our visitors to come in and see different engineers: ones that might look like them, ones that might be in fields that they’re familiar with, but also fields that they may not have heard of before.

“Visitors might understand a little bit more about what an engineer does day-to-day, and realise that they’re using these same skills, that they too can think like an engineer and can change the world.”

INSPIRING THE ENGINEERS OF THE FUTURE: The Engineers gallery. Credit: Science Museum

Research published by Engineering UK in 2021 showed that women make up just 16.5% of engineers in the workplace.

However, the exhibition features female engineers such as Professor Becky Shipley OBE, a UCL healthcare engineer and mathematician who invented a non-invasive ventilator for Covid-19 patients during the pandemic.

Others included are Professor Larissa Suzuki, a computer scientist and engineer at Google, and Uresha Patel, a surgical engineer at CMR Surgical who trained the first surgeons to use the Versius surgical robot on a human patient.

Patel said: “I think the gallery is breaking biases and highlighting the diversity and the variability in STEM careers.

“Growing up, I didn’t know what engineering was. I didn’t know any engineers. When I was at school, I didn’t know you could have a career in engineering.

“I would say to young girls, don’t be afraid to take paths that are unknown to you yet and ones that you haven’t discovered. That’s how I ended up where I am.

“I didn’t know anything about the career I was going into, but you just got to try it, be fearless and give it a go.”

Uresha Patel in front of Versius Credit: Science Museum

The engineers gallery is free to visit and can be found on the first floor of the Science Museum and was funded by the Queen Elizabeth Prize and sponsored by US firm MathWorks.

Featured Image Credit: Science Museum

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