STEM education

Shape Your Future — STEM career journeys with Australia’s rising stars


What inspires someone to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM)?

Join us as we give students across Australia the chance to interact with the country’s brightest minds who are shaping the future through STEM. The series will showcase the diverse and dynamic journeys  that these inspiring individuals have taken in their careers. The series will encourage students to keep an open mind about the subjects they choose to take in high school and the diverse journeys their education can lead them on later in life. Students will also be challenged with extension activities to be undertaken after the events to deepen their appreciation for the ground breaking work of these scientists and engineers.

The Shape Your Future webinar series is organised by ATSE’s STEM education in schools initiative STELR.

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The 2022 webinars are noted below.

Week 3: Live long and healthy

Week 4: Improving health digitally

Week 5: Is your city affecting your health?

Week 5: Quantum Physics

Week 6: Can’t see the adaption for the trees

Week 7: Can you engineer an organ?

Week 8: Making the polymers of the future

Week 9: Faster, Higher, Stronger

Recordings of our Shape Your Future webinars are on YouTube.

STELR VCES T3 2022 - 1510x400

Tuesday 26 July 2022 — 2:00pm-3:00pm (AEST) 


Live Long and Healthy
How to extend your health with Dr Sharyn Fitzgerald.

Dr Fitzgerald’s specific areas of interest include healthy lifestyles, disease prevention, careers in science. Dr Fitzgerald is a firm believer in healthy living for a long and active life. She has coordinated large community-based studies in prevention measures in older people.

Join us to hear about Sharyn’s journey from working in diabetes studies to population health.


Dr Sharyn Fitzgerald
Twitter: @MonashUni @aipolsci @alice2antarctic  

te3 22 wk 4

Thursday 4 August 2022 — 11:00am-12:00pm (AEST) 


Improving health digitally
Improving outcomes of digital health programs with Grace Lethlean

Grace Lethlean has degrees in both chemical engineering and immunology. Grace has been actively involved in the development of health technologies from invention, through clinical trials, to commercialisation. Grace Lethlean is co-founder of ANDHealth, Australia’s National Digital Health initiative. It supports evidence based digital health technologies to meet key investor, partner and customer requirements around clinical and commercial validation. Grace is a 2022 Churchill Fellow, investigating international best practice in digital health business support.

There will be a Q and A session and an extension worksheet provided.

Join us to hear about Grace’s journey to creating leading digital health technologies.


Grace Lethlean
Twitter: #SuperstarsOfSTEM @gracelethlean @ANDHealthAU

te3 22 wk 5

Tuesday 9 August 2022 — 11:30am-12:30pm (AEST) 


Is your city affecting your health?
Investigating health impacts of urban environments with Dr Emily Flies

After a few years of teaching outdoor education, Emily completed a master’s degree in disease ecology and a PhD in disease ecology and epidemiology. Now Emily studies the relationship between nature and health, and how nature can help create healthy and sustainable communities. Emily is Co-Founder of two not-for-profit science communication organisations and co-leads the ‘Sustainable People-Environment Interactions’ impact priority area of the Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub.

There will be a Q and A session and an extension worksheet provided.

Join us to hear about Emily’s journey to working in Health Ecology.


Dr Emily Flies
Twitter: @aipolsci @Emily_Flies @UTAS_

te3 22 wk 5_2

Thursday 11 August 2022 — 2:00PM (AEST) 


Quantum Physics


Dr Fabio Costa
Twitter: @aipolsci  #quantum #physics  @ARC_EQUS @UQ_SMP 

te3 22 wk 6

Thursday 18 August 2022 — 11:00am-12:00pm (AEST) 


Can’t see the adaption for the trees
Plant adaptions in ecosystems with Dr Rebecca Jordan.

Plants, from miniature mosses to towering trees, are fundamental to healthy ecosystems. They provide benefits such as food, habitat, and clean air as well as to people and our cities. But what happens when the environment that plants are used to, changes? Can they adapt to withstand this change and continue supporting our fabulous ecosystems, and ourselves?

Dr Rebecca Jordan is a conservation scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). She is endlessly curious about the amazing variation within plant species, how this variation relates to the environment they grow in and how we can use this knowledge to support healthy, resilient ecosystems in a rapidly changing world. Through her research, Rebecca aims to understand how vulnerable trees are to climate change and how we can create plans for revegetation that are resilient now and into the future.

There will be a Q and A session and an extension worksheet provided.

Join us to hear about Rebecca’s journey to become a researcher who looks at how resilient plants are through climate change.


Dr Rebecca Jordan | CSIRO
Twitter: #SuperstarsOfSTEM @RebeccaCJordan @CSIRO  

te3 22 wk 7

Tuesday 23 August 2022 — 2:00pm-3:00pm (AEST) 


Can you engineer an organ?
Dr Jiao Jiao brings multiple areas together to create replacement organs.

Dr Jiao Jiao (JJ) Li is a biomedical engineer and medical researcher. She works in the field of tissue engineering, combining biological science with engineering to create replacement organs and body parts. Thanks to her engineering background, JJ is trained to work across multiple disciplines from cell biology to materials science, nanotechnology and data science. Her current research focuses on developing new tissue engineering strategies to help heal injured and diseased bones and joints.

Join us to hear about Jiao Jiao’s journey to being an emerging leader in the field of tissue engineering.


Dr Jiao Jiao  | UTS
Twitter: #SuperstarsOfSTEM @UTSEngage @UTS_Science @JiaoJiaoLi_Syd 

te3 22 wk 8

Thursday 1 September 2022 — 2:00pm-3:00pm (AEST)


Making the polymers of the future
Prof Drew Evans and his work with films and coatings.

Dr Drew Evans is a Professor at the University of South Australia, with expertise in thin film coatings for real world applications.  His work focusses on making materials that are better and easier to manufacture. In late 2010 he was part of the development of a light-weight shatter-proof plastic side mirror for cars that replaced conventional glass mirrors. He was able to do this in partnership with a leading international automotive supplier and now more than 3.5 million of these mirrors are fitted to vehicles in North America. Since then, Drew has been leading efforts to engage a diverse range of industry partners with new thin film and polymer technologies.  The polymer tech is being explored for use in new energy storage devices.

Join us to hear about Drew’s journey to being a leader in film and polymer technologies.


Prof Drew Evans | UNISA
Twitter: @ScienceByDRE @aipolsci @unisaresearch @UniversitySA @UniSAFII

te3 22 wk 9

Tuesday 6 September 2022 — 11:30am-12:30pm (AEST)


Faster, Higher, Stronger
Explore Sports science and nutrition A/Prof Kate Pumpa

A/Professor Kate Pumpa is an Advanced Sports Dietitian and Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Kate has over 15 years’ experience as a Sports Dietitian both domestically and abroad, holding Performance Dietitian positions at the ACT Brumbies, for Rugby Australia’s Wallabies, Wallaroos and Junior Wallabies, Leinster Rugby (Dublin, Ireland), and Basketball Australia. Her research has primarily focused on improving the health and wellbeing of athletes through nutritional interventions, with a recent focus on female athletes.

Join us to hear about Kate’s journey


A/Prof Kate Pumpa | UC
Twitter: @UniCanberra @UC_RISE@aipolsci @KatePumpa (Sports dietitian @RugbyAU @BrumbiesRugby & @CanberraCaps)