News article

23 June 2014

FDF celebrates National Women in Engineering day

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The UK food and drink manufacturing sector is marking National Women in Engineering Day (23 June), organised by the Women's Engineering Society, through a series of events for young people and educators to raise the profile and celebrate the achievements of women engineers in our sector.

Representatives from some of the UK's biggest brands are taking part in activities to give students and educators a taste of the day to day responsibilities of a food engineer, as well as helping young women understand the different routes into the industry which are available to them.

Danielle Epstein, a graduate in Chemical Engineering, who recently joined Coca-Cola Enterprises' University Talent Programme in supply chain has been taking part in “I'm An Engineer, Get Me Out Of Here”. This is an online event where school students interact with engineers to get an insight into what it's really like to be an engineer in the food and drink manufacturing sector. Danielle is also able to talk to them about why she chose engineering as a career and her first job role on the graduate scheme as an Asset Care System's Supervisor, working on maintaining production line equipment in the biggest soft drinks factory in Europe.

And, building on the work of the UK's first MEng Food Engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam University, Hannah Whall, Nestle UK & Ireland's Project Engineer, is speaking to 35 female pupils from local secondary schools at Sheffield Hallam about her role as a food engineer for one of the country's largest food and drink manufacturers as well as take part in activity to really help bring engineering to life.

These events form part of FDF's Taste Success careers campaign and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) pledge to support the Government's “Your Life” campaign which aims to increase participation in STEM subjects especially amongst women.

Angela Coleshill, Director of Employment and Skills at FDF, said:

“Food and drink is the UK's largest manufacturing sector and employs up to 400,000 people. However an ageing workforce means that between 2010 and 2020 food and drink businesses we will need to recruit 170,300 individuals and engineering is one key vital specialism we need to continue to grow and remain competitive.

“Through initiatives like the creation of the UK's first MEng Food Engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam and the Government's “Your Life” campaign, we are working to raise the profile of food engineering by highlighting the range of rewarding careers on offer and the many benefits of working in an innovative, dynamic and growing sector.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit:
  2. Women in Engineering Society (WES) - working to inspire women in engineering and allied sciences for 95 years; promoting careers in engineering; supporting companies with gender diversity; and speaking as the collective voice of women engineers
  3. National Women in engineering day has been set up by WES to celebrate its 95th anniversary. The aim is to celebrate the work that women do in engineering, and to showcase the great engineering careers that are available for girls. - See more at:
  4. Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd makes, sells and distributes soft drinks for every occasion in Great Britain. For more information visit
  5. Nestle UK and Ireland
  6. The MEng Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University has been developed by Graduate Excellence , a partnership between the Food and Drink Federation, the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and Sheffield Hallam University.
  7. The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink is the food and drink manufacturing industry's skills body. The Academy was created in 2007 to facilitate sector specific training provision to drive up sector productivity and competitiveness in line with employer needs. Training organisations that become part of the Academy undergo rigorous quality checks and include both publicly and privately funded learning centres. Each delivers some aspect of skills development for the food and drink manufacturing industry as a whole, and/or specialist skills for one of its various sub-sectors.
  8. Sheffield Hallam University is one of the UK's largest universities with more than 36,000 students, 27,000 of which are undergraduates. The University has the fourth highest number of postgraduate taught students in the UK and runs approximately 580 different courses. The University is England's largest provider of courses that involve work placements (such as a year in industry) and 91 per cent of the University's graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.

More information

For further information please contact Anna Taylor ([email protected]) on 020 7420 7118 or Avni Raval ([email protected]) on 020 7420 7131

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