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Women in Engineering

Sylvie Mucyo - MSc Environmental Science

Dr Sylvie Mucyo is a lecturer at the University of Rwanda and Assistant Dean in the School of Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Management. After coming to Abertay on a Rotary Scholarship for her MSc in Environmental Biotechnology, she stayed to complete a PhD. Her published work has addressed natural resource management in Africa and waste collection in deprived urban areas.  

Why Abertay?

I came to Abertay for my MSc because I knew that the Environmental Sciences programmes were recognized worldwide.  This is why I was very happy to stay to take my PhD degree at Abertay when the opportunity presented itself.  Thanks to the incredible support of the lecturers and the practical side of the teaching, I had a very good learning experience.   

What does your current job involve?

I am a lecturer at the University of Rwanda in the College of Agriculture and am acting Deputy Dean in the School of Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Management.

Apart from teaching and research activities, I coordinate a project funded by Sweden that promotes capacity building, programme development and research in the College.

I am an academic supervisor for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project and I am also leading a project to develop short courses in Strategic Environmental Assessment for practitioners. 

How important was your Abertay degree?

I specialized in Solid Waste Management and Bio gas technology. My degree enabled me to work in the field of technical and scientific research in Applied Environmental Sciences.  It has opened up many opportunities within academia, public service and private consultancy. 

Are there any barriers still to be addressed for women in STEM?

The number of women in decision making positions in STEM is still very low.  Barriers include a lack of confidence that women can pursue their career in STEM in combination with family responsibilities. The stereotype that STEM is a career for men is still an issue although things are changing.

There are a lot of opportunities available for women in the field. Gender balance is very important to ensuring innovative and well balanced decision-making.

Any advice for students pursuing a career in a STEM?

I do encourage students to have career goals in life and strategically position themselves for potential opportunities. STEM industry requires dedication and perseverance but the rewards are great.