Dr Michele Cano – Head of the Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences at UWS

An internationally-respected academic from University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in Paisley has been named as a winner of the Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50) awards.

Dr Michele Cano – Head of the Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences at UWS – is a mechanical and manufacturing engineer, with over 30-years of experience.

Michele began her career in shipbuilding, before moving to the higher education sector; eventually joining the University of Paisley – UWS’s predecessor institution – in 1993, as a lecturer in Quality Engineering.

Throughout her academic career, she has placed a heavy focus on growing the diversity of the sector. She has also built ties internationally, working on collaborations across the globe, including in France, Spain and Hong Kong.

The highly prestigious WE50 is an awards programme run by the Women’s Engineering Society, aiming to raise awareness of the huge discrepancy between the number of men and women currently in engineering professions.

Winners are announced annually on International Women in Engineering Day.

Dr Cano said: “I am beyond delighted to have been named on the WE 50, it really is an honour.

“When I started in engineering, I was the first female apprentice working in my shipyard, and I was the only female engineer in my class in college. When I got to university, there were less than five of us in a cohort of 100.

“In 2024, although there have been improvements, the number of women in engineering is still disproportionately low; worsening the growing skills gap.

“But it’s far from a bleak picture for those who choose this career path. Great opportunities exist for female engineers, and there is so much variety and choice in where you specialise.”

The WE50 was judged by a panel of independent industry experts. Each year the awards have a theme, with this year’s being ‘enhanced by engineering’ – showcasing the powerful impact made by women engineers.

For more information about studying Engineering at UWS, visit: https://www.uws.ac.uk/about-uws/academic-schools/school-of-computing-engineering-physical-sciences.

Headline image: Dr Michele Cano – Head of the Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences at UWS 
Photo Credit: UWS

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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