Mentoring future women graduates in STEM in Africa
Project principal contact: Dr Boksun Kim
Funder: Royal Academy of Engineering
Grant scheme: Frontiers Seed Funding


This interdisciplinary project, covering engineering and business aims to empower women graduates in STEM in Ethiopia and Uganda by training and mentoring.
Forty final year female students in STEM will be recruited from Addis Ababa Science and Technology University in Ethiopia and Makerere University in Uganda. They will be assigned to local and international career experts, who can act as mentors and role models. We will deliver training on employability skills and provide webinars on empowering women and issues on sexual harassment at work.
The students will meet their mentors in in-person workshops, where they will receive an interactive and reflective bespoke training on their career paths, and network with successful career women. The synergy between collaborators will help achieve the aim and inspire future women graduates in STEM. 
In future, the project can be scaled up to wider communities and countries.

Project members

<p>Dr Boksun Kim&nbsp;</p>

Dr Boksun Kim

University of Plymouth, UK
UK Applicant 
Dr Kim is Associate Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Plymouth (UoP) and Fellows of the Institutions of Civil and Structural Engineers. She has been working on projects involving steel and concrete structures, graphene oxide concrete, recycled aggregates in concrete and plastic bottle houses, funded by EU Horizon 2020, the Royal Academy of Engineering (Seed Funding and Frontiers Champion), the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Institution of Structural Engineers. She has passion to improve the quality of life of people, in particular, in less developed countries. She established the UoP Civil Engineering Professional Mentoring Advisory Committee in 2018, implementing the mentoring scheme to support Civil Engineering students. Mentoring Association of Commonwealth University Blue Charter fellows has stimulated her to help more in the global south.
<p>Dr Cathy Ikiror Mbidde<br></p>

Dr Cathy Ikiror Mbidde 

Makerere University, Uganda
As Co-Applicant, Dr Mbidde will contribute her expertise in entrepreneurship-oriented mentorship towards building resilience in world of work among young women STEM graduates in Africa. She posses training and coaching skills coupled with strategic networks built over the last 10 years. Dr Mbidde’s discipline is Entrepreneurship. She will be in charge of student recruitment, conducting needs assessment, mentor identification, mentor-mentee matching, supervising and guiding the process. She will attend project meetings, present the progress, co-host the workshop in Uganda and contribute to the final report to the academy. 

Miss Israel Zelalem Bekalu 

Addis Ababa Science and Technology University
Miss Israel Bekalu, is a Lecturer in Manufacturing Engineering in Addis Ababa Science and Technology in Ethiopia and a published author with her book providing insights on how Ethiopia can improve the manufacturing process of sugar production. She has experience in quality control and R&D for agricultural mechanization. She is also a trainer for women's empowerment and has a degree in leadership and Management. In addition to her academic work, she mentors female STEM students in her current position.
<p>Dr Geremew Teklu Tsigu profile image<br></p>

Dr Geremew Teklu Tsigu 

Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Ethiopia
Dr Tsigu is an Assistant Professor of Management Studies at the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University and a member of Ethiopian Management Professionals Association. Currently, he manages Master of Business Administration courses and advises thesis. He provides employability skills training for graduating students and management skills development training for the faculty. He is an established strainer and Consultant of Enterprise development, leadership and strategic management. He has been working on Smart City Plan, Network Readiness Index 2022 Ethiopia, and Strategic Road map and plan projects. He has been participating in research projects on national policy frameworks and strategies. He is also passionate about helping startup businesses and graduates. 
<p>Dr Evi Viza&nbsp;</p>

Dr Evi Viza 

University of West Scotland, UK 
Dr Viza is a Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineer with specialisation on Quality Management and Continuous Improvement. She is a Chartered Quality Professional and a Black Belt Lean Six Sigma practitioner. She is a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has been involved and interdisciplinary research projects with focus on systems approach and sustainability, and gender diversity within STEM across different settings. She was led and participated in many projects with focus on STEM diversity particular on global south settings. 
<p>Dr Marcelo Blumenfeld</p>

Dr Marcelo Blumenfeld

University of Birmingham, UK 
Dr Marcelo Blumenfeld is an Assistant Professor in Future Transport Systems at the University of Birmingham. He is internationally recognised for his work on transportation systems for sustainable development, particularly applied to Sub-Saharan African countries. He holds a PhD in Electronic, Electric, and Systems Engineering from the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Transport Planning from the University of Leeds. He has led successful research proposals for over £750,000 in research grants, many of them dedicated to research on developing transport infrastructure in the Global South. Funders include the FCDO, GIZ, and the United Nations.
<p>Mr Brian Tinoota <br></p>

Mr Brian Tinoota 

DisCO, Zimbabwe 
Mr Tinoota’s strongest skills include communication skills and ability to mobilize people to participate in training/educational programs that ensure all genders can have access to the assistance they need to achieve their individual goals. In this project, he will help the creation of an inclusive STEM mentorship programme that will support women graduates in Africa. He can design workshops to teach women to work in male-dominated environments, strengthen their positions in workplaces and empower them to be more confident, focusing on STEM employability skills and careers in the STEM sector.
<p>Miss Pippa Waller&nbsp;</p>

Miss Pippa Waller 

University of Plymouth, UK
Miss Pippa Waller is a Careers Consultant at the University of Plymouth and works with students within the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. Miss Waller graduated in 1998 with a BSc (Hons) Chemistry and Human Biology, however inspired by her own experiences as a mature student, she went on to join the University's Widening Participation team. She primarily supported mature students planning to come to University but also helped deliver Women in STEM activities, including an annual Great Egg Race with the Women in Engineering Science and Technology society (WEST). After joining the Careers Service in 2017, she became a licensed trainer through the Springboard Development Consultancy, delivering the Sprint Women's Development programme to STEM undergraduates at the University until 2019.
<p>Dr Joyce Mwangama</p>

Dr Joyce Mwangama 

University of Cape Town, South Africa 
Dr Joyce Mwangama joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Town as a lecturer (now a senior lecturer) in 2015, and she completed her PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2017 at the same institution. She has previously served as a member of the IEEE MGA Women in Engineering Committee (2015-2017) and the IEEE Region 8 Women in Engineering Coordinator (2013-2014). She will contribute to the programme as a mentor with extensive work in advocating for girls and women in STEM.
<p>Mr Joseph Lukwago</p>

Mr Joseph Lukwago

Founder and CEO of Joy For Humanity 
Mr Lukwago is an ICT and digital product engineering professional and oversees the charity’s operations. He has over 16 years of leadership and headed up the Information and Communication Technology department in Uganda’s Vice President’s Office prior to moving to the U.K. for his further education. He will provide the necessary digital transformation support.

Get involved