STEMM Profile: Elizabeth Duguid | Masters of Professional Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) | University of Western Australia | Perth | WA
Thesis topic: Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries
“I want to be a part of the generation that sees this technology [renewable energy] transition from novelty to norm”
Elizabeth Duguid is in her final year of a Masters of Professional Engineering at the University of Western Australia in the Electrical and Electronics stream. She graduated in 2014 from a Bachelor of Science with Engineering Science major, also at UWA. Elizabeth is originally from Darwin, in the Northern Territory and moved to Perth for her studies and to pursue her sporting dreams as a hockey player.
Elizabeth was awarded an undergraduate scholarship with Rio Tinto and has also received a Clough Engineering Scholarship to support her postgraduate studies. Presently, she is undertaking a year-long research project through the University’s CEED, or Cooperative Education for Enterprise Development program which connects industry projects with research students. Elizabeth’s project is in cooperation with the Water Corporation who are investigating the performance of Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries in Western Australian conditions.
Elizabeth is passionate about the environment, sustainability and energy efficiency, and hopes to find a rewarding career which encompasses those themes. She has a strong interest in renewable energy and energy storage and would like to participate in further research and development of those areas.
What attracted you to your chosen field of study?
It is my opinion that Australia is somewhat lagging in the trend towards renewable energy. We have the opportunity to be world leaders in this field and are making progress towards that. I want to be a part of the generation that sees this technology transition from novelty to norm.
Do you plan on working in industry after your studies?
At this stage, yes. I believe that even if I am to return to research, having experience in industry will give me a holistic perspective.
What has surprised you about yourself during the course of your studies?
I have found myself in both formal and informal leadership roles within group projects on several occasions. I had previously thought that I would not enjoy a job which involved management, however I have found that I actually quite like the tasks involved. As long as there is still a substantial technical element to my career, I now believe that I could also be suited as a team leader.
What motivated you to get involved in supporting women in STEMM?
Although the gender balance in my cohort was more equal than I had been told it would be, an imbalance still exists. I hope that by writing this profile and supporting women in STEMM the number of women in these fields will continue to increase. I believe an approach of equity over equality will most benefit society in the long term.
What do you see as the biggest obstacle to you growing a career in STEMM?
Job opportunity and security. Unfortunately, there has seemingly been a decline in the number of graduate positions available for young engineers. While this can be seen as a positive in encouraging healthy competition amongst my peers, it also serves as an additional source of stress and uncertainty about our future.
[Image attribution: Matthew Galligan]