The Rising Stars workshop fosters the next generation of women academic leaders, enabling attendees to develop skills and networks to assist their prospering careers. This is the first time the workshop has been held in Australia, with previous events held in 2018 at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and 2019 at Seoul National University.

47 women PhD students and Research Associates participated in the workshop at the UNSW Kensington Campus, attending from universities across the globe. Keynote speakers, including Professors Rose Amal and Laura Poole-Warren from UNSW, shared their personal experiences in sessions on Research Leadership for Impact, Engaging in Teaching and Learning, and Social Engagement and Ethics. The plenary keynote was presented by Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew, who spoke on Encouraging Participation in Engineering.

Organising Committee Chair Associate Professor Rita Henderson said it was wonderful to be hosting such a distinguished group of women. 

“Given only around 13% of Australia’s engineering workforce are women, it is critical that we do all we can to inspire, motivate and promote women academics in engineering,” said Rita.

“In this event we aimed to give both practical advice focused on advancing an academic career and a valuable support network for the participants.”

The workshop dinner was one of the highlights of the event, giving attendees the chance to meet and network with others while enjoying drinks and canapes on the Sydney Harbour.

The Rising Stars Workshop is an initiative of the Asian Deans Forum, comprised of representatives from engineering schools of seven leading Asian universities: UNSW, University of Tokyo, Tsinghua University, National Taiwan University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Seoul National University and the National University of Singapore. Deans from all universities met concurrent to the Rising Stars Workshop, participating in a series of where they shared experiences and approaches to the development of engineering knowledge with the aim of leading in the field for the 21st century.

The 4th Rising Stars workshop will be held at the University of Tokyo in 2023.