By AIT Public Affairs
27 December 2023: In the historically male-dominated field of structural engineering, women have been quietly and steadily making significant contributions for many years. Now, as societal attitudes and opportunities evolve, more and more women are rising to the forefront of this profession, breaking through barriers and challenging long-standing stereotypes.
A remarkable milestone in this journey towards greater diversity and inclusion has been achieved by the Asian Institute of Technology’s Structural Engineering (STE) program of the School of Engineering and Technology (SET). Currently, one-third of the students in the program are female. In 1965, there was only one female student in the Masters of Structural and Engineering program—a stark contrast to the current 33% representation. This notable shift reflects the growing presence of women in technology and their substantial contributions to the world’s development.
This achievement is a testament to AIT’s unwavering commitment to an inclusive, forward-thinking, and equal approach to education. The institution’s dedication has resulted in an enriched learning environment, allowing for diversity in the world of structural engineering.
The women joining the STE program at AIT hail from various corners of the globe, reflecting the international nature of the institution and the global impact of women in structural engineering. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences contribute to a comprehensive understanding of structural engineering principles and their applications in different regions and contexts.
Among the many inspiring female students at AIT, Kyi Noo Khin from Myanmar, Jutamas Taweesit from Thailand, Sanisha Shakya from Nepal, Nattaporn Ponpai from Thailand, and Nitisha Kafle from Nepal stand out as shining examples of how female role models in the field can inspire and encourage young women to pursue careers in structural engineering.
Ms. Khin, Ms. Jutamas, Ms. Sanisha, and Ms. Nattaporn are actively collaborating on a term project centered around the casting of a beam designed to demonstrate a specific failure mechanism in flexure while maintaining resilience against shear failure. Their primary goal is to ensure a ductile failure mechanism, a critical aspect in structural engineering that allows for deformation and provides warning signals before a potential catastrophic failure. Simultaneously, Ms. Nitisha is dedicated to her Master’s Thesis, focusing on the comprehensive testing of a scaled masonry building. Her research aims to deepen the understanding of the structure’s behavior during seismic events, offering valuable insights into the field of earthquake engineering.
This achievement at the Asian Institute of Technology is a testament to the transformative power of education in breaking down gender barriers and promoting diversity and inclusion. It marks a significant step towards a more equitable and balanced representation in the field of structural engineering, providing opportunities and inspiration for women worldwide to thrive in this dynamic and essential profession.