International Women’s Day: Inspiring STEM Generations

7th March 2022
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Date(s) - 07/03/2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


CSA Catapult proudly presents its next webinar in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Part of the Catapult’s work to address the skills gap and support the development future engineers involves highlighting pathways into STEM careers so that they are seen as accessible to the next generation.

This year’s IWD theme feels incredibly relevant as we aim to #BreakTheBias and encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering, innovation, and other STEM subjects. We look to foster equality and diversity in our work to find dynamic solutions to problems and enable future technologies.

You’re invited to join our Skills Academy Manager, Alexandra Leadley as she chairs a panel discussion with, Bahar Öner, Materials Engineer at CSA Catapult, Giorgia Longobardi, CEO of Cambridge GaN Devices, Wenmiao Yu, Co-founder and Director of Business Development at Quantum Dice, as they discuss why they chose to build a career in STEM and why they think gender equality is needed, especially in innovation.

Our talented panel will share experiences that have influenced how they’ve navigated their careers so far, what inspires them to continue to #BreakTheBias, and what key skills they would advocate to engineers of the future.

The session will close with a Q&A – we welcome your questions for our panel. Join us for a positive conversation that promotes accessible opportunities in STEM from women who are creating the change and breaking the bias!


Please note: this panel will be recorded.

Speaker Bios:

Alex Leadley – Skills Academy Manager, CSA Catapult

Like most of us, my career path hasn’t been the standard neat curve we so often envisage when we are growing up. After realising my dream of being Fantine in Les Mis on Broadway, or the next (much more smiley) Anna Wintour weren’t going to come to fruition, I began working in International Sales. I was lucky enough spend many years travelling the world, but after being made redundant when my youngest daughter was 18 months old, I decided to move into Higher Education. Now I have over 10 years’ experience working at the intersection between Higher Education and Industry, specifically in employer engagement, managing externally funded research partnerships and building training and skills programmes. With two teenage daughters of my own, it is even more important to me that the gender we identify with, should not define our career choices but give all children the confidence to be aspirational, is something I hope that we see more of in the future.

Alex Leadley | LinkedIn

Dr Bahar Öner – Materials Engineer, CSA Catapult

Bahar is a packaging materials engineer at the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, a non-profit UK organisation helping the industry adapt compound semiconductors for a greener and more prosperous future.

Bahar completed her MSc in Mechanical Engineering at Bogazici University in Istanbul, where she developed an advanced algorithm for defect identification in electronic packages. She then moved to Bristol to complete her PhD in Physics. In Bristol, her work involved thermal management and characterisation of GaN based power devices. She developed a state-of-the art thermal metrology tool, working with an international and interdisciplinary team. Her work was nominated for the Faculty Research Degree award in Bristol Physics Department.

Since then, she has been working at the Catapult, having moved from device level to the package level this time. Originally a mechanical engineer, Bahar has a passion for problem solving and making life easier by using science and logic.

Bahar Oner | LinkedIn


Dr. Giorgia Longobardi – CEO of Cambridge GaN Devices

Dr. Giorgia Longobardi, CEO of CGD, is an experienced engineer with international practice working on GaN power devices design and characterisation. As the inventor of high impact patents in the field of GaN power devices, Giorgia made the unique blend of academic and business know-how one of her biggest strengths.

During her PhD in power devices at Cambridge University, Giorgia worked on international projects with top semiconductor companies, through which, she learned about different cultures operating in this field and gained experience managing and budgeting multi-partner projects.

Curious and knowledgeable, Giorgia leads an experienced diverse team of passionate people working with enthusiasm and continuous drive to do things better. She never forgets why she founded CGD: to change how energy is used and protect the environment with efficient power electronics.

She is a member of the energy management committee at PSMA (power Sources manufacturers association) and Strategic Advisory Board at the Henry Royce Institute for materials.

 Giorgia Longobardi | LinkedIn

Wenmiao Yu – Co-founder and Business Development Director at Quantum Dice

Wenmiao Yu studied Chemistry at the University of Oxford and is the co-founder of Quantum Dice, a spin-out developing the world’s fastest, compact and self-certifying Quantum Random Number Generator to better secure encryption protocols and ensure long-term data security.

As Director of Business Development, Wenmiao is responsible for leading the team in the development of opportunities in key markets, herself focusing on the telecommunications, space and IoT sectors. She co-led Quantum Dice’s recently oversubscribed VC fundraiser.

Wenmiao believes that communities are crucial grow nascent industries and is always looking to help towards initiatives developing the Quantum ecosystem.

Wenmiao Yu | LinkedIn