Women in Engineering: booking open for '2012 - a year of technology innovation'
Academy website editor Thursday, 11th October 2012 14:57 GMT
Booking is now open for ‘2012: a year of technology innovation’ - the next event from the BBC Academy’s Women in Engineering initiative.
Taking place from 6pm on 14 November at MediaCityUK in Salford, the evening will take a look at the technological challenges the BBC has taken on this year. It will feature presentations, a panel discussion, networking drinks and interactive displays of broadcast technology past and present.
The event will also celebrate 90 years of the BBC: on 14 November 1922, the BBC broadcast live to the nation for the first time, from the 2LO transmitter on the Strand in London. Ninety years on, Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, will welcome audiences to the new home of BBC Sport at MediaCityUK, and Alix Pryde, director of BBC Distribution, will take to the stage to document a year of unprecedented technological achievements at the corporation and beyond.
Penny Holland, project manager at Arqiva, will discuss the switchover to digital television - the UK’s largest ever broadcasting project. Cait O’Riordan, head of product, and Lucie Mclean, executive product manager (mobile), will give the inside story on how the London 2012 Olympic Games were broadcast live by the BBC across 24 streams on TV, radio, online and the red button.
About the speakers
Alix Pryde, director of BBC Distribution
Alix is responsible for leading the BBC Distribution team, setting the strategy and negotiating and managing contracts for broadcast distribution of the BBC's TV and radio services in the UK as well as advising the BBC Executive on future broadcast distribution developments. She is a board director of Freeview, DMOL and the Digital Television Group and a member of the DVB Steering Board.
Alix started her career as a physicist, completing a PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge. She has worked in broadcasting for 15 years, first joining the BBC in 2002. In 2003 she was promoted to head of strategy for BBC News, and in 2007 became chief adviser to Caroline Thomson, BBC chief operating officer. She took up her current role in March 2009.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport
Barbara's responsibilities have included working with governing bodies to retain a broad portfolio of broadcasting rights, maintaining BBC Sport's early lead on multi-platform offerings, leading the division through the move from London to join BBC North in Salford in 2011, and overseeing sports coverage of the biggest planned event ever held in the UK: the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
Barbara joined the BBC in 1983 as a trainee assistant producer in the Natural History Unit in Bristol, but has spent most of her career as a producer in BBC Television Sport, specialising in outside broadcasts and overseeing the production of a range of sports including tennis and golf.
Cait O’Riordan, head of product for Sport and 2012, BBC Future Media
Cait was responsible for delivering the BBC's digital development for the London 2012 Olympics across web, mobile, tablet and connected television. The programme of work she ran delivered 2,500 hours of live and on demand video coverage of every sport from every venue at the summer's games.
Cait previously led online development for the World Cup in 2010 and the delivery of BBC's award-winning Democracy Live site. She has worked in product management for six years and was previously a journalist on the BBC News website having joined from ITN in 2002.
Lucie Mclean, executive product manager for Mobile Sport and 2012, BBC Future Media
Lucie led the workstream in Salford delivering the BBC's Olympic services on mobile – including three Olympic mobile websites and two Olympic apps. As executive product manager she continues to lead BBC Sport's mobile product development.
Lucie joined the BBC in 1996 working as a journalist in television news and at BBC News Online before moving into mobile product management six years ago. She relocated to Manchester two years ago as part of BBC Sport's move to MediaCityUK.
Penny Holland, project manager at Arqiva
Penny has been working for Arqiva as an Antenna Implementation project manager from the start of the DSO build in 2006. Prior to this she worked as a project manager, rolling out new networks for mobile phone operators. Penny has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Portsmouth.
Why ‘Women in Engineering’?
The WiE initiative is aimed specifically at supporting women in the broadcast and technology sectors. It also forms part of a broader campaign to share BBC best practice with the industry and initiate discussions around technological challenges.
“Women remain an under-represented group in broadcast engineering,” said event organiser and BBC Academy Centre of Technology trainer Aradhna Tayal. “These events should allow them to meet other women in the industry and learn more about some of the most relevant technical challenges around in the field today.
“The talks will be technical and relevant to broadcast engineering professionals. Although the majority of our speakers and audience happen to be women, we’re not specifically looking at what it’s like to be a woman in the industry.”
The Academy is also running a series of events for young people under the WiE banner. Taking place across the UK, the afternoon sessions will introduce school pupils aged 14 to 16 to engineering, software development and technology roles in the media industry.
The aim is to encourage students with an interest in science and computing to consider pursuing these interests at A-Level and beyond, in an effort to address current skills gaps. Like their adult counterparts, the events for young people are open to all, but with a target of at least 50% female attendance.
Find out more