WOMEN in engineering will be a focus area for the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (BPEQ) as it participates in a $12,000 partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), BPEQ announced.

BPEQ will provide funding over two years for the university’s Women in Engineering (WiE) alumni network and the student organisation, Girls in Engineering Making Statements (GEMS).

BPEQ chairman Dawson Wilkie said the partnership will deliver a boost to women studying and working in engineering.

“Earlier this year BPEQ started a discussion with our female registered professional engineers, asking them for their personal experiences and ideas on way to promote and support women in engineering,” he said.

Helping keep women in engineering was a major issue highlighted through these discussions, Mr Wilkie said.

“Working with QUT, WiE and GEMS we will be able to more actively engage female engineers and support them with the right knowledge, experience and tools to keep them in the profession.”

QUT science and engineering faculty assistant dean for international engagement, Deryn Vahl-Meyer said the partnership will be beneficial for all parties involved.

BPEQ has also introduced a new category to Queensland’s engineering registration system.

The registered professional engineers – non practicing (RPEQ-non practicing) category will allow engineers on career breaks, such as maternity leave, to keep their registration current and avoid having to complete the full assessment process once they return to the workforce.

As part of the partnership BPEQ and QUT will hold a networking event expected to be held in late-2015, BPEQ said.