STEMM Profile: Justin Bourke | Research Fellow | University of Wollongong | Wollongong | NSW

Dr Justin Bourke completed a consecutive science (1999) and biomedical engineering (2002) degree program at Monash University, which included a teaching placement in an Electronics Design class at Glen Waverley Secondary College. It was here that Justin was struck by the gender imbalance in engineering-type elective classes that feed into undergraduate STEMM courses.

In 2003, Justin joined the Monash Physiology Department to design hardware and software systems for neural electrophysiology, through which he developed a keen interest in training students in various computer programming languages. With assistance from an NHMRC Dora Lush Biomedical Postgraduate Scholarship, Justin completed a PhD in biomaterial-based neural tissue engineering in 2014.

Justin’s current role is Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong. He was previously based at St Vincent’s Hospital and Melbourne University in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and involves design of functional synthetic biosystems for research into neural and neuromuscular disorders. Justin was on the Communications Committee for this ARC Centre for 2016, and a member of the ARC Centre Executive Committee in 2017.

As part of the organising committee for the 2016 early career mentoring forum for the centre, Justin pushed for discussions on the SAGE Pilot and gender equity in research. The interest in these discussions from PhD and post-doctoral level researchers was a driving force behind Justin becoming more engaged in gender equity, diversity and inclusion programs.

LinkedIn: Justin Bourke

Twitter: @DrJustinBourke