UTS has a new “Superstar of STEM” with the announcement that Dr Alex Thomson, Manager of the UTS Deep Green Biotech Hub, will join a group of 60 women chosen by Science &Technology Australia (STA) this month to help “smash” society’s gender assumptions about working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The diverse group of inspiring female scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians join a group of 30 chosen in 2017 to kick off the five year Superstars of STEM program. Ultimately 150 female STEM role models will be equipped not only with advanced communication skills but also genuine opportunities to use these skills in the media, on the stage and in speaking with decision makers.
“Superstars of STEM is a great opportunity to showcase some of the innovative and ground-breaking work of Australian women working in STEM. I’ve had the privilege of having some amazing female scientists help me in my own journey to become a scientist, and being able to encourage the next generation of scientists – as well as raise the awareness of algae and algae biotechnology - is a fantastic opportunity, and one I’m passionate about,” Dr Thomson said.
STA President, Professor Emma Johnson, AO, said that one of the aims of Superstars of STEM is to increase the public visibility of women in STEM who would no longer be hiding their “scientific superpowers”.
“We are extremely proud to have seen hundreds of capable, skilled, confident women apply for the program, and really look forward to sharing the stories of these impressive 60 Superstars with the world,” Professor Johnston said.
In congratulating Dr Thomson on this outstanding achievement UTS Dean of Science Professor Dianne Jolley said that it was an exciting time for women in the UTS STEM community.
“It is an outstanding achievement, and UTS is delighted that Alex is recognised as one of our nation’s most brilliant scientists. She will be an inspirational role model for our current and future generations.”
“This month UTS was among the first Australian institutions to be accredited with a Bronze Athena SWAN* Award and a number of trailblazing female scientists have recently been recognised as Leaders in their Field by the UTS community,” Professor Jolley said.
In her current role Dr Thomson, a UTS Science alumna, uses a diverse skillset drawn from marine ecology, project management and science education. By the end of 2019 that expertise is sure to expand exponentially as she begins to share her passion for science education and serve as a representative of her work, discipline and sector.
“I’m really looking forward the opportunity to work alongside some incredible Australian women in STEM, and engage with the public more widely about algae biotechnology and our global sustainable future”.
*Athena SWAN is a gender equity program recognising and celebrating good practice to boost gender equity in STEMM areas.