Emerging researchers and professionals from the UNSW Faculty of Engineering have embarked on a transformative program to gain skills, confidence and networks that will support their burgeoning careers, while becoming highly visible advocates in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM).

The UNSW STEMM Champions program supports women, non-binary and gender-diverse higher degree research students and early career staff to become leaders and changemakers. Through six tailored development workshops over 12 months, the participants are equipped with a range of skills to help maximise the impact of their research, work and engagement. In addition, they have opportunities to participate in a strengths profile assessment, networking events and one-on-one career coaching. Importantly, STEMM Champions also complete 20 hours of outreach to inspire girls, women, and gender-diverse individuals to pursue careers in STEMM.
From 150 applicants, 48 participants were selected across the Faculties of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and Health—with 16 of these representing the Faculty of Engineering.

Fitri Widhiastuti, an early career researcher from the School of Chemical Engineering is among the 2024 cohort. She says that Being appointed a STEMM Champion is a significant honour as it presents avenues to connect with fellow females in STEM fields.

“This role allows me to actively support and inspire other women and girls in STEMM, contributing to a more diverse and equitable future in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine,” said Fitri.

“I believe that this will be a platform to share knowledge and collectively work together to break the barriers in traditionally male-dominated areas and pave the way for a brighter, more equitable future in STEMM.”

Two workshops have already been completed, focusing on Effective Communication and Building Engaging Presentations. UNSW STEMM Champions Program Senior Project Officer Cheryl Mah reflected on these workshops, saying, “My highlight of the development workshops was witnessing the remarkable transformation and shift in engagement of the UNSW STEMM Champions. Rather than merely centring around what they bring, I was captivated by how they learned to connect with their audience by stepping into their world.”

Applications for the annual STEMM Champions program will open again in late 2024, and are encouraged from Indigenous Australians, people with disability, people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and LGBTQIA+ people. 

More information can be found on the STEMM Champions web page.

2024 STEMM Champions

Higher Degree Researchers

Aline Knab
Elise Elkington
Hasliza Omar
Isabella Lee
Javiera Sanhuiza
Mahnoor Anjum
Manna Philip

Early Career Staff

Fitri Widhiastuti
Imrana Kabir
Katie Clinch
Licheng Feng
Reem Almasri
Shamim Aryampa
Shukla Poddar
Wendy Lee
Zahra Rahimpoud