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North East Women in STEM (NEWS) Networking Meeting

22 September 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

North East Women in STEM


The second instalment of our North East Women in STEM (NEWS) network meeting.

We are delighted to announce that our confirmed speakers are

Catherine Purvis-Mawson, Vice Principal, UTC South Durham

Working with young people has always been the focus of my career. I completed my Undergraduate Degree in English and History from Sunderland University in 2001 and went on to study a Post Graduate Certificate in Gender, Culture and Development in 2002, which allowed me to travel to the Canadian Arctic to study Inuit culture and settlements.

I was then successful gaining a job with an environmental charity, Groundwork North East who supported me to complete my qualifications in youth work. I worked in a number of areas across County Durham and Darlington supporting young people to develop their personal and social skills.

After doing detached youth work for 6 years I then moved to working for Newcastle and Durham Universities on a public engagement project encouraging community and academic staff to co create research together that had the aspiration to create social change. During this time, I gained my Masters in Youth and Community work from Durham University.

Working with young people however was always my motivation, so moved to work in a secondary school in County Durham as their Enterprise and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Enrichment Manager in 2008. Here my role was about inspiring young people to enter into a STEM career.

Developing relationships with business and industry to allow students to see what was available to them and gain access to a large variety of career opportunities was key to their personal development.

Here at the UTC, I am able to use all of my knowledge and skills of young people as well as my significant network of business and industry partners to allow our students to gain knowledge from an extensive variety of careers and people to ensure they have the best start to their futures.

I am responsible for leading on our internal strategy of what we call the Student Leaver Profile (SLP). The SLP represents what we want from our students at the UTC. It was created by our wider community of staff, students, parents, business and community partners with support from the Edge Foundation and Ford NGL. Each student has the opportunity to develop their technical knowledge and understanding, professional career experiences and core skills. At the UTC students’ personal, professional and technical development is just as important as the grades they achieve.

This educational philosophy is what I am hugely passionate about and will welcome sharing that with colleagues.

Catherine Johns, CEO, Kielder Observatory

Catherine was appointed as CEO of Kielder Observatory in 2019 and launched Kielder Constellations, a new approach to extending its audiences and impact to deliver the Observatory’s purpose: to create opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities to experience moments of inspiration, revelation, wonder and hope through observing the cosmos.

Catherine serves on the national panel for Strength in Places, Innovate UK’s £300M innovation fund, is a Board Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering and a Board Director, for iGiant, a Washington DC based innovation accelerator. She is a former Vice-Chair of UKSPA and Board Director of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), where she founded Women in IASP, a global network for women in the science park and innovation sectors.

As Director of the North East Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications, she built the fastest growing space cluster in the UK and was instrumental in turning the North East Technology Park from “two buildings in a field” to a £100M pioneering science park. She manages Southpaw Dance Company, supporting its innovation journey to becoming a digital performance pioneer.

There will be lots of time available for topic-led breakout room discussions where you will be able to find out about projects/events that other members are involved in.

This event will be held virtually.


22 September 2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


Online Event
United Kingdom


North East STEM Hub