A PORTRAIT of one of the country’s leading female engineers has been hung in Bradford College to inspire female students.

The photograph of Dr Phebe Mann, the first and only woman to hold six professional engineering qualifications concurrently in the UK, hangs outside science laboratories in the college’s David Hockney Building.

It is hoped the image will inspire female students to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

It was commissioned by WISE, a national organisation promoting women in STEM, after they named Dr Mann one of their Women of Outstanding Achievement and handed her a Tomorrow’s Leader Award.

Dr Mann, who was made an honorary fellow in 2013, then donated the portrait to the college.

She said she felt “really privileged” that it has been placed next to a statue of Sir Edward Appleton, Nobel Prize winner, physics pioneer and former Bradford College lab technician.

Dr Mann said: “The perception that engineering is ‘not for girls’ has gradually been changed over the years.

“We see more women engineers in responsible positions in industry. However, according to the Institution of Civil Engineers, out of 40,000 chartered civil engineers, only 2,000 are female, 1 in 20. We should do more to encourage young people, especially girls, to consider engineering as a worthwhile and rewarding career.

“I sincerely hope that my portrait can encourage more young people, especially girls, to contemplate engineering as their career.”

“My message to teachers, parents and guardians is - encourage young women to consider careers in STEM.”