March 24th is Ada Lovelace Day, a day when inspiring women in science and technology are celebrated across the blogosphere. After much deliberation I’ve decided to keep things ‘close to home’ and dedicate my post to Haifa Takruri-Rizk, a Senior Lecturer here in the School of Computing, Science and Engineering at the University of Salford. Haifa’s research interests include Networked Appliances, Intelligent Buildings and Wireless Sensor Networks. However it’s her interest in gender and equality, along with her ability to communicate and inspire, which I would like to celebrate here. Haifa has spent 17 years at Salford researching and promoting science, engineering and technology to females and BME people – traditionally underrepresented groups – encouraging thousands of girls to study science and engineering and go on to work in the field. She has led many projects including: Developing Female Engineers, Women in North West Engineering, Women Audio Video Engineers, and she also organises annual residential courses for Year 12 girls from across the world, encouraging them to consider studying science and engineering.
Last year Haifa was awarded an MBE for her work inspiring women and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people to take careers in science, engineering and technology. She’s also recently been awarded the Fazlur Rahman Khan Award for Excellence in Engineering, Science or Technology at the Muslim News Awards for Excellence. As a woman in technology, who strives to encourage women to study/work in science and technology, Haifa is a fantastic role model and I’m proud to know her.