Expert Advisors

Women in STEMM Australia is keen to work with professionals across the STEMM sector to shape best practices, evidence-based policies and ground-breaking initiatives that can provide women in science the best environment to lead and excel. Our Expert Advisors provide advice to the Board of Directors on strategic direction for Women in STEMM Australia.                                                            

CDU_2013_Professorial_Lec_2_Hres_2236Professor Sharon Bell was Deputy Vice Chancellor at Charles Darwin University, Professorial Fellow at the LH Martin Institute at The University of Melbourne and Emeritus Professor at the University of Wollongong. Sharon was also a member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Expert Advisory Group and serves as an Expert Advisor to Women in STEMM Australia. Sharon holds a PhD from the University of Sydney in the discipline of Anthropology. In addition to holding senior executive roles in Australian universities over the past decade, Sharon has conducted research on gender equity in the Australian academy and she authored the influential report Women in Science in Australia: Maximising Productivity, Diversity and Innovation (FASTS, 2009). With Professor Lyn Yates from the University of Melbourne, Sharon has recently concluded a major project as Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant on Women in the Scientific Research Workforce: Identifying and Sustaining the Diversity Advantage.

Veena S 3Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, ‘Eco Alchemist’, is one of the world’s leading innovators in the field of sustainable materials use and an international award-winning scientist and engineer. She is passionate about mining the mountains of rubbish and waste materials produced by modern society and re-using them in industrial processes or to create new goods. Veena is founding Director of the Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT) Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research – integrated with core industry partner OneSteel – has resulted in a world-first, patented, environmentally-friendly process called Polymer Injection Technology for recycling end-of-life plastics/rubber in electric arc furnace steel-making, resulting in the production of ‘Green Steel’. Veena is also an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow. This Fellowship allows Veena to both undertake a dedicated research program that transforms toxic electronic waste (e-waste) into value added metal and alloys, as well as implement ‘Science 50:50’, a program designed to inspire and encourage women to pursue careers in science and technology. Veena’s high-respected research has been recognised with national and international awards. In 2015 Veena was the Innovation Winner of the The Australian Financial Review Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards, and was listed as one of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers by Engineers Australia. In 2012 she was named Overall Winner of the Australian Innovation Challenge, and was presented with a Banksia Award and the GE Eco Innovation Award for Individual Excellence. Veena became one of Australia’s best-known scientists and inventors through her regular appearances as a judge on the long-running ABC TV series The New Inventors. Veena has delivered keynote and invited speeches at some of the most prestigious research gatherings and conferences across the world . Veena was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) in 2007 and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, in 2005. In 2015 she was selected as an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Australia. Veena Sahajwalla on Twitter: @veenasahajwalla

J CarrollProfessor John Carroll works on how the oocyte makes a successful transition into a healthy viable embryo. His laboratory uses live cell imaging, cell biology and genetic approaches to investigate the cell cycle, polarity and metabolism of the oocyte and early embryo. John is currently investigating the molecular mechanisms that cause the decrease in oocyte quality that occurs as women reach their mid-late 30s. This manifests in a decrease in fertility and an increase in early embryo loss and miscarriage; the vast majority of which is due to chromosome anomalies in the oocyte. John spent most of his academic career at University College London where he was Director of Division of Biosciences before moving to Monash University where he is now Director of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Dean of Biomedical and Psychological Sciences. John is an advocate for women in science. He supported the establishment of and was inaugural Chair of the Biomedical and Psychological Sciences GE Committee and he has instigated unconscious bias training for all academic leaders. John now chairs the SAGE Pilot Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team for Monash University.

Natasha MNatasha Mitchell is a multi-award winning ABC journalist and presenter. She has hosted a range of flagship programs including the national, daily morning show, Life Matters (2012-16), and the popular science, psychology and culture radio program, All in the Mind (2002-12), on ABC Radio National (ABC RN). Natasha served as a board member and vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists (2009-13). Her broadcast work has received accolades internationally, including the overall Grand Prize and 4 Gold World Medals at the New York Radio Festivals, among other awards. Natasha was recipient of a prestigious Knight Fellowship at MIT/Harvard (2005-6), and a Marine Biological Laboratory Journalism Fellowship at Woods Hole. She served on the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Advisory Committee (2009-11), and was co-editor of the book anthology, ‘Best Australian Science Writing 2013‘. Natasha has an engineering degree with first class honours from Monash University, and a postgraduate diploma in science communication from the Australian National University. Before entering journalism she was a Women in Engineering coordinator at University of Technology Sydney. She regularly chairs events, debates and public forums around Australia (including three science dialogues with the Dalai Lama and guests). Natasha Mitchell on Twitter: @natashamitchell

M McManusProfessor Madeleine McManus is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and was the first female Chairman of the Victoria Division. In this role, she was actively involved in the rebuild of bushfire-affected areas in 2009 and led the Victoria Division to be the largest in the country, with the highest number of female members. In 2011 she became National Director for Engineers Australia, and was recently awarded Engineering Executive (EngExec) by her peers in recognition of her contribution in Engineering Management and Leadership, which has made her the highest qualified female Engineer in Victoria. Double degree qualified in engineering and commerce, she has extensive senior engineering management and consulting experience in Australia and France, delivering large scale global multi-discipline projects. She currently has a portfolio career, where she is Director of Industry Engagement for Monash University and holds a number of Board and Advisory roles. Madeleine has been appointed to a number of industry and community boards including Chairman, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport; Director, National Board for Centre of Engineering Leadership and Management (CELM); Board Director, Monash Engineering Foundation, and; Director, Timberline Ski Lodge. She has also recently become involved with the newly established Women in Football Network. Since 2012, she has served on the Victorian Minister of Innovation Panel to award Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. She is passionate about making a difference, promoting STEM and encouraging greater diversity within her profession.

Glenn WightwickProfessor Glenn Wightwick, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research) at University of Technology Sydney. Glenn was previously Director, IBM Research — Australia and IBM Australia Chief Technologist. Glenn brings global experience from his role at IBM having led teams in the US and China, worked on IBM’s global technical strategy and established world-leading research laboratories here in Australia. As Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), Professor Wightwick has responsibility for research policy development and general oversight of the University’s research activities, postgraduate education, industry liaison, intellectual property and commercialisation. This role includes: the development and implementation of a research strategy which fulfils the UTS vision to be a world-leading University of Technology, including the development of research faculty and staff; further promotion of research collaboration with industry and government, and building strong linkages in the research and innovation sector nationally and internationally, and; continued enhancement of the quality of UTS postgraduate research education, and the building of a vibrant, diverse research community.

Jenine BDr Jenine Beekhuyzen is a university lecturer in Information Technology (IT) and she serves a number of editorial roles in academic journals. She is the Asia-Pacific representative for the Association for Information Systems-National Center for Women in Technology (US) and the United Nations PRME Coordinator of the global repository on gender and technology. Her networks extend to Europe, the United States and Asia. She has research collaborations with Deakin University, QUT, the University of Muenster (Germany), the University of Twente (The Netherlands) and the University of Liechtenstein. Jenine is also an advocate for diversity in IT and has a long history of organising and presenting at girls and computing events and visiting schools. She has volunteered in many committees and mentoring programs over the past decade. She has a strong academic publishing record on gender and IT and runs her own research consulting business, Adroit Research. Through her community, consulting and academic activities, she has built connections at a local level in Australia with women working in the tech industry, tech companies, industry groups, government, schools and teachers, and educators in school, vocational and tertiary education. Jenine is also the founder of Tech Girls are Superheroes and the Tech Girls Movement. Jenine Beekhuyzen on Twitter: @jeninebeek

Nalini JProfessor Nalini Joshi is a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow and Professor in mathematics at the University of Sydney. She develops mathematical methods to study solutions of integrable systems, which arise as universal models in physics, such as the Painleve equations. She obtained her PhD from Princeton University and has held the Chair of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney since 2002. Nalini is a member of the School’s Applied Mathematics Research Group. Her research concerns integrable systems. Nalini was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAAS) in March 2008, and has held a number of positions in the Australian Mathematical Society, including its presidency from December 2008 to September 2010. In 2012, Nalini became an ARC Laureate Fellow and received the Georgina Sweet Fellowship for women in science and technology disciplines. In 2015 Nalini was the 150th Anniversary Hardy Lecturer, an award by the London Mathematical Society involving an extensive series of lectures throughout the UK and recognised in the The Australian Financial Review Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. As Co-Chair of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative, Nalini is a proven advocate for women throughout the STEMM sector. Nalini Joshi on Twitter: @monsoon0

Paul WoodProfessor Paul Wood is an eminent Australian scientist, with expertise spanning from basic and applied research, to commercialisation and senior management of Global R&D. Paul obtained his PhD from the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, in 1982. After a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Melbourne, he joined the CSIRO Division of Animal Health as Leader of the TB Diagnostic and Vaccine Development Program, where he developed and patented the platform TB diagnostic technology now successfully commercialised by CSL, Prionics and the Australian company, Cellestis. Paul received a number of awards for this research including the CSIRO medal, ASM Diagnostic award and in 2013 The Clunies-Ross award. Paul was also the Deputy-Director of the CRC for Vaccine Technology from 1993-2000 and has published over 100 scientific papers. In 1997, he became Vice President/Director, Global Research and Development in Animal Health at CSL, and in 2004 joined Pfizer Animal Health as Senior Director, A/NZ Biologicals R&D. In 2008, he left Australia to become Executive Director, Global Discovery, Pfizer Animal Health, Kalamazoo, Michigan. In this role he led the Global Discovery team for both pharmaceutical and biological products with 200 staff and a budget of US$60 million. Paul returned to Australia in 2012 and established his own consultancy company and accepted an Adjunct Professor position at Monash University. He was also a Director of a start-up AH company Nexvet Biopharma and is Co-Director of the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) Mentoring Initiative. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow (FTSE) of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He is a strong advocate for the value of gender diversity in science and the need to see more women in senior leadership roles. Paul Wood on Twitter: @paulwood1508

Misty in lab JAN 2016Dr Misty Jenkins is a Laboratory Head and cellular immunologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Misty has had a long standing interest in cytotoxic lymphocyte biology and has spent the past ten years investigating how killer lymphocytes acquire the ability to kill cancer cells, and how they deliver the lethal hit. She is funded by a New Investigator project grant from NHMRC, and a prestigious NHMRC Career Development Fellowship, where she is investigating cancer and inflammation. She has been awarded 15 awards for her work, including the L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship for Australia (2013) and the 2015 Tall Poppy of the year. Misty is a passionate, engaging public speaker involved with various programs aimed at increasing young people’s engagement in science and education, particularly Indigenous students. Misty provides leadership on a number of boards including the board of directors for the Aurora Education Foundation (which supports indigenous students to excel at school and into their university studies), the governing board and scientific advisory panel for the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics (NCIG) at Australian National University in Canberra, and the Federal government’s expert working group for “Indigenous engagement in the sciences” which is helping shape public policy. Misty aims to increase support and visibility of Indigenous girls and women in STEMM and advises Women in STEMM Australia in this area.

Jennifer de VriesDr Jennifer de Vries is a Senior Academic Fellow: Organisational Development in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, and combines this with her work as a gender strategy consultant and public speaker (www.jendevries.com). Jen’s dual roles as academic and practitioner contribute to her unique expertise in the area of gender equality and transformative organisational change, and her work is internationally acknowledged with clients in Australia, New Zealand, UK and Europe. Jen is the author of Mentoring for Change, a report commissioned by the LH Martin Institute, designed to build sector wide capacity in the delivery of mentoring programs. She undertook  commissioned research examining gender equity within a STEM Faculty in an Australian university, Optimising Faculty Performance: Maximising the potential of academic women (with P.Todd). Jen’s current research interests include examining the role of sponsorship practices (as distinct from mentoring) in academic and research careers, and the ways in which sponsorship and mentoring can contribute to and/or disrupt the gendered status quo. Jen is keenly engaged with Athena SWAN on a number of fronts; she has worked with several UK universities in capacity building to support their silver submissions, and is a self-assessment team member at University of Melbourne. She is passionate about contributing her expertise wherever possible to ensure that the current impetus provided by Athena SWAN transforms the higher education sector. As a gender expert, Jen advises Women in STEMM Australia in the course of developing research projects and policy submissions. Twitter: @drjendevries