University of Melbourne alumna receives engineering award

11 December 2014

University of Melbourne alumna and former Young Australian of the Year, Marita Cheng, is the recipient of the 2014 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award at the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Dubai.
Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), the leading international organisation for engineering education, awarded Marita $10,000 US to support and develop her work.

University of Melbourne School of Engineering
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The three 2014 finalists were selected from more than 20 candidates from 12 countries.
Ms Cheng is the founder of Robogals Global, an initiative designed to inspire girls aged 10–14 to choose engineering and technical careers, and to create a global community of engineering students committed to the cause of greater diversity.
Robogals has so far reached over 20,000 girls worldwide, using a largely volunteer workforce of university students. In six years, it has grown from a single university chapter to an international organisation. This has been achieved through a Robogal Ambassador program of workshops, training, student challenges and  a dedicated outreach program for rural and regional areas.
Ms Cheng is dedicated to innovative thinking, to introducing girls to engineering and the opportunities such a career path can offer.
“The world needs more engineers and is constantly looking for new ways to innovate,” she said.
“However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that the engineering industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports. By building more diverse teams, with an inclusive culture, engineers can capitalise on everyone’s strengths,” she said.
Dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering, Professor Iven Mareels said Ms Cheng was an individual who had been proactive in bringing more diversity and a new vitality into engineering.
“This prestigious award is given to individuals, schools and universities. It rewards initiatives around the world that encourage young people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. I am very proud of Marita’s achievements and how she continues to contribute to providing ideas and opportunities for girls,” Professor Mareels said.

About the Melbourne School of Engineering

The Melbourne School of Engineering offers an internationally recognised curriculum with dual accreditation that is unique in Australia. The Master of Engineering suite of programs are the only engineering courses to be accredited by Engineers Australia, as well having received EUR-ACE® label European accreditation, allowing graduates to register and work as professional chartered engineers in many countries around the world.
The university’s graduate model of engineering education provides depth, breadth and flexibility to a world-class curriculum that is informed by real-world, problem-based learning, industry experience and a generous program of scholarships for both local and international students.
Here’s how the Melbourne School of Engineering was scored by the QS World University Subject Rankings for Engineering 2014:
Chemical Engineering

  • 1 in Australia
  • 16 in the World

Computer Science

  • 1 in Australia
  • 15 in the World

Mechanical Engineering

  • 1 in Australia
  • 17 in the World

Electrical Engineering

  • 1 in Australia
  • 28 in the World

Discover more about studying engineering at the University of Melbourne. Contact OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!