Media Release

Leading companies partner on the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering’s new STEM careers initiative

15 September 2022

FWI IMNIS Ignite launch

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has today launched a new industry internship program for STEM graduates, in partnership with leading Australian medical-tech, energy, intellectual property and accounting companies.

Host companies for ATSE’s high-capability interns include FB Rice, Mathews Steer, Global Health Neurology Lab, Energy Synapse and SpeeDx, with more to be announced shortly.

The program – IMNIS Ignite – connects exceptional PhD students, graduates, and early-career researchers with paid industry internships designed to ignite their careers in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.

IMNIS Ignite builds on the success of ATSE’s flagship industry engagement initiative, IMNIS (the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM), connecting employers with STEM researchers with post-graduate qualifications, who are ready to transfer their skills and join innovative Australian companies.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker said ATSE has seen the transformative potential of mentoring, with over 1,700 IMNIS mentees graduated from the program, and is poised to build on this success by opening up a wealth of career opportunities.

“Alumni of our IMNIS program not only have high-level STEM qualifications; they’ve also been mentored by senior industry leaders, built their industry networks, and have undergone a rich breadth of training in enabling skills,” Ms Walker said.

“Our internships offer unmatchable exposure to industry, equipping new STEM professionals with real-world skills to translate and commercialise their innovations into products and services. The program also gives host companies the chance to introduce high-potential graduates to their business.

“Fostering transferable skills and a collaborative culture is critical to Australia’s tech-enabled future. Our programs provide a tangible opportunity to widen and deepen the STEM skills pipeline in Australia and bolster our science and technology workforce.”

The current cohort of host organisations are excited about the potential for IMNIS Ignite to be a game-changer for spotting exciting new talent and unlocking new STEM careers.

Dr Brett Lunn, Managing Partner at FB Rice said, “The strength of the program is that its interns have already been mentored through the IMNIS Engage mentoring program. They have existing knowledge beyond the lab, allowing them to quickly apply their practical skills, and hit the ground running with exposure to real-life projects.”

Dr Marija Petkovic, Founder and Managing Director of Energy Synapse said, “As a cleantech startup, we see huge synergies in partnering with ATSE to take the next step and employ motivated and highly skilled researchers. We look forward to onboarding our first IMNIS Ignite intern and giving them the opportunity to explore career paths outside academia.”

Dr Sonu Bhaskar, Director of Global Health Neurology Lab said, “By providing internship opportunities to emerging STEM leaders from all backgrounds and experiences, we are unlocking opportunities for them to grow and feel supported in their leadership journey, which will lead to better outcomes for the future of science.”

Professor Alison Todd FTSE, Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder of SpeeDx said, “SpeeDx is excited to be amongst the first companies privileged to host a postgraduate intern through ATSE’s new initiative, IMNIS Ignite.”

Dr Richard Wraith, Senior Principal at Matthews Steer said, “Our R&D tax and grants team is growing, and we need people with deep understanding of the R&D process and a passion for learning. With tight competition for experienced people already in the field I decided to take a different approach to recruitment and look directly to recent PhD graduates.”

Organisations interested in hosting an IMNIS Ignite intern should contact the IMNIS team –


Note to media: Kylie Walker, CEO, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is available for interview.

Media contact: Aidan Muirhead, Manager – Communications | 0409 856 886

More about IMNIS Ignite

IMNIS Ignite interns will be placed with organisations on 3- or 6-month projects. IMNIS Ignite internships offer industry partners the opportunity to fill skills gaps, embrace new ideas, attract highly skilled new research talent, and contribute to the strength and diversity of the STEM sector.

IMNIS Ignite interns are scientists, technologists and engineers who have successfully completed IMNIS Engage, a one-year mentoring program that connects emerging talent with industry leaders in the sector.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.