At last, a woman’s name on the nameplate

When Merel Verhoef, an Electrical Engineering student, heard last year that yet another area in her Faculty was going to be named after a man, she felt as though she had been slapped in the face.

A list of all 21 floors with their countless labs and lecture halls did not make her any happier – they all bore the names of men. She thought that it should not come as any surprise that so few women study or work in electrical engineering. Surely the open days do not help attract women if they do not recognise themselves in that environment?

Verhoef expressed her frustrations to llke Ercan,  Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering, who was on the point of claiming an as yet nameless space to set up her much desired Makerspace. This would be a space for extracurricular experiments and tryouts. Ercan says that it was perfect timing. “I was immediately able to do something about Merel’s frustrations.”

She came up with a plan to name a room in her building after a female scientist for the first time. The Computer Science building (building 28), also part of the faculty of EEMCS, already had a room named after Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani.

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