Pride, Power and Privilege – an exploration of LGBTQ+ issues in STEM

Pride, Power, and Privilege – An Exploration of LGBTQ+ Issues in STEM

Live Event: Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

View Recording
Free for TMS members and non-members

Hear from guest speaker, Ben Britton, on creating a space for all to participate equally in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and benefit from answers to audience questions asked during the live event.

The recorded webinar also includes a brief overview of the work being done by the TMS DEI Committee from Chair, Natasha Vermaak and an introduction to the TMS PRIDE Working Group from Chair, Matthew Korey.

This webinar is the first of its kind in an occasional series sponsored by the TMS PRIDE group of the TMS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. With this series, we hope to provide space for dialogue around issues regarding intersectionality between the LGTBQ+ and materials science communities.

Abstract: Materials Science and Engineering underpins modern society, and yet as a STEM focused discipline it is clear that not everyone can participate equally. There is significant evidence in the literature (e.g. [1]), and from the lived experience of 2SLGBTQ+ people in STEM that our current “sticking to the science” is failing the scientists, and engineers continue to create solutions that have an inequitable reach across society.

In this talk, Ben Britton will open a conversation about how we can actively create spaces and opportunities for people to participate more equally. The talk will focus on 2SLGBTQ+ issues, but Britton will touch on issues that overlap with issues experienced by people with other protected characteristics/classes and those at the intersection. The talk is well aimed for both 2SLGBTQ+ people and allies.

[1] E.A. Cech and T.J. Waidzunas “Systemic inequalities for LGBTQ professionals in STEM” Science Advances (2021)


Member Free
Nonmember Free

If you require a certificate of participation for attending this webinar, please send a request by e-mail.

About the Presenters

Ben Britton, Speaker (he/him/his)

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Ben Britton is an Associate Professor researching Materials Science and Engineering and teaching Manufacturing Engineering at the University of British Columbia, on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. He leads research to develop new microstructural and micromechanical testing approaches, including making significant advances in electron microscopy and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). In addition to technical science, he is actively involved in advocating for a more equal STEM environment and sharing Materials Science and Engineering with the wider world. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining (IOM3), a Chartered Engineering and a Chartered Scientist. In 2021 he was awarded the Frank Crossley Award by TMS, in 2016 he was one of the Engineer’s Trust/Royal Academy of Engineering Young Engineers of the Year, and in 2014 he won the IOM3 Silver Medal. He is also a trustee of @PrideinSTEM, a charitable trust that aims to “science up queer spaces, and queer up science spaces” and a member of IOM3Pride.

Natasha Vermaak, Moderator (she/her/hers)

Chair, TMS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics, Lehigh University

Natasha Vermaak is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics department at Lehigh University. She earned her doctorate in Materials from the University of California Santa Barbara where she worked on thermostructural design tools for hypersonic vehicles. Prior to joining the faculty at Lehigh University, Vermaak was a postdoctoral scholar for two years at the University of Grenoble, France. Her research interests include multifunctional architectured materials and structures; application of optimization techniques for the design of material composition, microstructure and structural topology; modeling thermostructural and materials degradation and durability; plastic design theorems; ultra-light weight aerospace structures; and integrated computational materials engineering (ICME).

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