Tuesday, 23 June 2015


Today is National Women in Engineering Day - a day dedicated to raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering. In celebration of the day, here is a list of our Top Ten Influential Female Engineers...

Martha Coston (1826 - 1904) - An inventor and businesswoman, best known for her invention of the Coston Flare, a device for signalling at sea. 

Lillian Gilbreth (1878 - 1972) - An American Psychologist and Industrial Engineer, one of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D.

Padmasree Warrior - Chief Technology and Strategy Officer (CTO) of Cisco Systems and former CTO of Motorola, Inc. As of 2014, she is listed as the 71st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. 

Beatrice A. Hicks (1919 - 1979) - an American engineer, the first woman engineer to be hired by Western Electric, and both co-founder and first president of the Society of Women Engineers.

Edith Clarke (1883 - 1959) - The first female electrical engineer and the first female professor of electrical engineering at The University of Texas. 

Kate Gleason (1865 - 1933) - An American engineer and businesswoman known both for being an accomplished woman in a predominantly male field of engineering and for her philanthropy

Mary Walton - Nineteenth-Century inventor who was awarded two patents for pollution-reducing devices.

Helen Greiner - Co-founder of iRobot and currently CEO of CyPhyWorks, a start-up company specialising in small multi-rotor drones for the consumer, commercial and military markets. 

Elsie Eaves (1898 - 1983) - First female associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a founding member of the American Association of Cost Engineers (Now AACE International). 

Ellen Kullman - a US business executive. She is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company ("DuPont") in Wilmington and a former director of General MotorsForbes ranked her 31st of the 100 Most Powerful Women in 2014. She holds a degree in mechanical engineering

Monday, 15 June 2015

GIVE-IT-AWAY to make a difference!

Give-It-Away donates £20,000 to support programmes run by SATRO 

Surrey-based charity SATRO is delighted to announce that Charlotte Grobien OBE, a unique and very special social entrepreneur, has stepped up to the challenge of changing young people’s lives by supporting our programmes to inspire them about their future careers.  Charlotte attended St Dunstan’s School, Woking on 15th June where SATRO were delivering a Junior Business Game and presented her donation  cheque to Beccy Bowden, CEO, SATRO.  Beccy commented “It is an honour to work with someone as inspirational as Charlotte – not only has her donation enabled us to reach many more young people and ensure they take their next steps to a promising career,  I’m sure meeting her will also inspire them to achieve great things! There are many, many young people, even in a county as vibrant as Surrey, who struggle to find their way in life – often unseen and unknown about by the ‘general public’. Everyone at SATRO, staff and volunteers, is passionate about helping them and I'm delighted that all that hard work and determination has been rewarded by Charlotte’s support.”

Give-it-Away is unique in how it raises money for charity – it builds houses, sells them and then gives the profits to charities that fit with Charlotte’s charitable interests.  Charlotte supports small, local charities who work with vulnerable children and young people who have disabilities, learning problems, difficult home backgrounds and where there is also financial deprivation.  Charlotte’s donation will enable SATRO to run the Mobile Construction Classroom at Woodlands School, Leatherhead, support disadvantage students on their extended work placements and enable SATRO to reach out to young people with career and university advice.  She will also sponsor several events which are designed to stimulate and challenge young people and to develop skills in problem-solving, team-working and time management. These are skills which many employers value, especially those in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) related industries.

Charlotte commented “I was delighted to meet SATRO recently and to hear about the enormous number of programmes they are running in the Surrey area which benefit young people who may be unable to identify what their role in business and industry could be on leaving school.  By engaging them at a young age in a variety of hands on projects, they are better able to see their future  potential in careers which they may not have thought of.  I was especially pleased to see a construction based challenge!  I am very committed to providing as much positive opportunity as early as possible for young people and am very pleased that my contribution will be put to practical use”.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


Over the next four weeks, SATRO will be delivering 15 events in various local schools, to over 1,200 students. By delivering these events, we aim to provide young people with a glimpse into the working world at every stage in their education. Our programmes reach young people from their early school years, to their final years in education. Over the next four weeks we will be delivering exciting hands-on science lessons, practical lessons in building and construction, company challenges, business games, careers events and much more. We do this to enable young people to raise their aspirations, identify their skills and passions and reach their potential. 

SATRO is thrilled that one of our Mega-Structures events is being supported by ExxonMobil. We will also be receiving support from many other companies, such as New Malden Rotary, Willmott Dixon, P&G, The Royal Navy, Pirbright Institute and Minted Box - to name just a few, who have offered their time to come and volunteer at our events. The value of volunteers facilitating our events is huge. Individuals offer young people exciting access to the world of work in a wide variety of different situations. Without the support of local companies we simply would not be able to deliver our events. 

If you or your company are interested in supporting us, please visit our website www.satro.org.uk or email contactus@satro.org.uk 

Friday, 5 June 2015

John Faulkner, SATRO Volunteer on Dame Jocelyn Bell

In July 1967 Ph.D research student Jocelyn Bell made one of the great astronomical discoveries of the 20th century. She worked in the astronomy department at Cambridge University on a team researching quasars. Quasars were a newly discovered high energy radio source to astronomy. Her role was to help build a 4 acre wide antenna matrix radio telescope. Tiny anomalies in signal data from the telescope, dismissed as man-made, grabbed her attention. Determined to find the source she proved that they were not only extra-terrestrial but an entirely new type of star - a pulsar. Pulsars are rapidly spinning neutron stars, a result from the cataclysmic compression forces of the supernova from when an unstable star explodes.

The 1974 Nobel Prize for Physics included the discovery of pulsars but controversially Jocelyn Bell was not conferred with a joint award  even though she was a co-author of the associated scientific paper. She accepted this gracefully and went on to become one of our top scientists. With an array of scientific awards from around the world Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been named one the top 100 most influential women in the UK.

She had been inspired to go into physics by her teacher at school. During the 1960's it was unusual for women to have a career in physics and she needed resolve to be successful in what was a male dominated environment.

Her discovery was not just luck and required a deep understanding of astrophysics and hard work. As Louis Pasteur once said "chance favours the prepared mind".

Take heart if you struggle with exams, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS PRSE FRAS did not pass her 11+!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Gordon Bell of Willmott Dixon receiving Volunteer Award

Our very own top volunteer Gordon Bell, from Willmott Dixon is receiving an Award at the Runnymede Volunteer Awards which Voluntary Support NW Surrey are co-hosting for the first time with Royal Holloway, University of London and Runnymede Borough Council.

He will receive his award at the Awards Ceremony which will take place at the Royal Holloway University at 6 pm on 1st June 2015.    He will also be taking part in a special exclusive invitation to a viewing of Royal Holloway’s upcoming exhibition ‘Magna Carta and the loss of liberties in Victorian Art’.