Engineers: Marita Cheng and Nisrine Chartouny
'There weren't robots in my home that did the dishes' - engineers from Australia and Lebanon on developing ideas to make people's lives easier.
When Australian mechanical engineer Marita Cheng got to university, she was shocked to discover that only five out of 50 students on her course were female. She responded by starting Robogals - an organisation that goes into schools and teaches robotics to girls as a way of encouraging them into choosing engineering as a career. Having won multiple awards and starting her own robotics company, Marita is now an inspiring role model herself, and has developed a robot arm that can aid people with mobility issues.
Lebanese civil engineer Nisrine Chartouny oversees miles of tunnelling on London's ambitious Crossrail project. Her work requires precision, skill and very long hours. Nisrine joined her company Bechtel 10 years ago, and says she and her husband put off having babies for five years because she was enjoying her job so much. Now a mum of one, she was able to go back to work four days a week and wants the rest of the industry she is so passionate about to embrace flexible working, so that it can hold on to women like her.
(Photo: Marita Cheng (L). Credit: University of Melbourne, Australia. Nisrine Chartouny (R). Credit: Bechtel)