Sound Principles

Alex Bannigan (Women In Engineering Manager) with Sandra Harrison (Recruitment Officer) during the filming of the music video.

Dr Alex Bannigan says an exciting interactive music video will help drum up support for gender diversity in engineering. 

The latest video for Australian DJ act Nervo depicts young women creating androids in a futuristic lab. On glass touchscreens and in stylish protective eyewear, they “create” lifelike robot versions of Nervo, hair and makeup done and dressed in killer heels.

This official video for Nervo’s song, PeopleGrinnin, is part of a major national campaign aimed at improving gender diversity in engineering. In a unique collaboration led by UNSW between eight universities, Engineers Australia and advertising agency Whybin/TBWA, the “Made By Me” campaign endeavours to change the way young people, particularly girls, approach engineering. Nervo – twins Miriam and Olivia Nervo – were inspired to work on the campaign by their own experience as the only women in their class while studying sound engineering.

One of the biggest barriers to more women studying engineering is that they’re just not told about it. They don’t know what engineering is, or what engineers do. Those who think they know about engineering often have misconceptions about the kind of work involved – usually with a heavy emphasis on hard hats.

We needed to find a way to meet teenagers on their home ground and surprise them with an insight into engineering that would open their minds to its possibilities. This thought gave rise to the idea of producing an interactive music video, sprinkled with small nuggets of information to pique the audience’s interest in engineering.

Throughout the video, Google Cards pop up to hint at the engineering behind everyday objects, like drinking water, a smartphone and makeup. From the Google Cards you can click through to a microsite to learn more about the featured objects and explore profiles of interesting engineers. These range from a medical imaging researcher to an International Space Station controller to a humanitarian engineer delivering clean water to communities in developing countries.

Engineers around the country are invited to take a photo 
of their work and post it to their favourite social media platform with the hashtag #madebyme to show the world how much of our everyday life exists thanks to an engineer. UNSW, UQ, UWA, ANU and Monash, Melbourne, Wollongong and Adelaide universities were involved in the groundbreaking project.

- Dr Alex Bannigan

UNSW's Women In Engineering Manager

Watch NervoPeople Grinnin, released by SONYmusicon 15 July 2016, madebyme.org.au

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