Women In STEM

August 4th 2023

An exclusive invitation for high school students from years 10 - 12 to join us on August 4th for a free event, featuring presentations from leading female scientists, engineers and professionals from a diverse range of STEM careers.

Our 2023 line up:
Your Host
  • Professor Caroline McMillen, Chief Scientist for South Australia
  • Stephanie Lamont-Freidrich, ESG Industry Growth Lead for EMP - National Decarbonisation and Energy Transition, University of South Australia
  • Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO and Co-founder at Fleet Space Technologies
  • Karen Trezise, Chief Technologist, Babcock Australasia
  • Cathi Buttfield, Project Manager, Electric Vehicle Integration, Future Industries, Dept for Energy & Mining SA
  • Luisa Panucio, Senior Project Manager, Civil and Architectural Engineer, Arup
  • Lily Taylor, Optics Specialist, Defence Science and Technology Group, Australian Department for Defence
  • Emma Cole, Innovation Manager, SA Power Networks

Professor Caroline McMillen

Chief Scientist for South Australia

Professor Caroline McMillen commenced in the role as Chief Scientist for South Australia in October 2018 after serving as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle for 7 years from 2011.

She is committed to building collaborations between research, government and industry to deliver economic, environmental and social impact. In her role as Vice-Chancellor, she has been a frequent national commentator on the critical role of STEM in driving innovation and national and regional economic and social transition. She was honoured at the end of her term to be presented with the Key to the City of Newcastle by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

Professor McMillen is an active champion for science, science education and for the next generation of scientists and she is a strong advocate for increased participation of women in science. She was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) formed under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science.

Dr. Stephanie Lamont-Friedrich

ESG Industry Growth Lead for EMP - National Decarbonisation and Energy Transition, University of South Australia

Steph is currently ESG Industry Growth Lead for EMP - National Decarbonisation and Energy Transition, University of South Australia. Before this she worked as an Account Manager and Business Development Manager for SA Government and Energy and Natural Resources for KPMG Australia. She has also worked as a Senior Advisor within KPMG’s Accelerating Business Growth team. Prior to this she worked at Deloitte Australia within their R&D team where she was responsible for preparing eligible R&D Tax Incentive applications, as well as establishing the SA Grants practice as the sector lead for Life Sciences. Steph has also worked within research for 6 years, completing a PhD in Biomaterials, Engineering and Nanomedicine, a Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Nano-and Biomaterials) from the University of South Australia (UniSA), and a Double Bachelors Degree in Medical Science and Business and Technology.

During her time at UniSA, she was heavily involved in a number of committees and activities including the Golden Key Society, UniSA’s TEDx event, UniSA Mentoring, the Australian Society for Microbiology National Conference and UniSA’s first International Women’s Day event in 2018. Steph was a part of the founding Executive Committee for the first Women in STEM club at UniSA, being chosen as the face for UniSA’s Women in STEM club and UniSA’s Science and Mathematics degrees, being officially recognised by Women in STEMM Australia on International Women’s Day in 2020.

Steph is at Science Alive! for the 9th year representing the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM) at their booth – Microbiology Matters. The ASM is a not-for-profit professional society with close to 2000 members. The ASM brings together all microbiologists to advance the science and footprint of microbiology, highlighting its importance, particularly in a COVID-19 world. Steph is deeply passionate about driving and supporting gender equality in STEM, through creating opportunities and sharing experiences of the exciting diversity of STEM study and career pathways.

Flavia Tata Nardini

CEO and Co-founder at Fleet Space Technologies

Flavia Tata Nardini is co-founder and CEO of one of Australia’s most exciting space startups Fleet Space Technologies. A real-life rocket scientist, former propulsion test engineer at the European Space Agency and holder of two patents, Flavia has worked across a broad range of innovative space projects. Along with her team they are working towards launching a constellation of small satellites to enable high value, real time, application in industries such as Mining, Exploration and Defence.

Recently added to Flavia’s achievements: Mission Chair of the 7Sisters Moon Mission, Chair of the Australian Space Agency Space Industry Leaders Forum, Ambassador of AmCham SA Council of Governors, Adjunct Professor of UniSA and also recently graduated from the AICD Corporate Program. A strong advocate for women in STEM she regularly speaks at events and empowers the next generation of leaders.

Karen Trezise

Chief Technologist, Babcock Australasia

Karen Trezise is the Chief Technologist for Babcock Australia, an Engineering and Technology company providing highly skilled and technologically advanced solutions for clients in the Aviation, Land and Marine sectors.‌

Karen is particularly passionate about Aviation and completed a double degree in Aerospace Engineering and Avionics. She also holds a private pilot's license and flies in her spare time, enjoying the world from above.‌

With over 15 years’ experience, Karen has proactively gained work in helicopter flight test, fast jet health and usage monitoring and prognostics, commercial airline maintenance, repair and overhaul, support system design for anti-decoy missiles, and on the F35 Joint Strike Fighter program. With a keen interest for continual learning, advanced technologies and being a home hobbyist in AI, machine learning and mixed reality, she pivoted roles to now motivate innovative solutions supporting smarter solutions and predicted technology concepts for future needs.‌

This year, Karen was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society, gaining recognition for her contributions in advancing the sciences and technologies in the aerospace profession.

Cathi Buttfield

Project Manager, Electric Vehicle Integration, Future Industries, Dept for Energy & Mining SA

With over 20 years of public service across State and Federal Government (including military) and as the owner of a 68 year old, third generation manufacturing business, Cathi is passionate and committed to the growth and success of South Australian industry and encouraging students into STEM occupations through a diverse range of pathways.‌

In addition to previous roles in government Corporate Services, Property and Finance teams, as the Mineral Tenements Team Leader for 7 years in the Mineral Resources Division of the Department for Energy and Mining, Cathi developed extensive knowledge of South Australia's mining legislation, tenure and regulation processes for exploration and mining projects.‌

In early 2021, Cathi joined the Department's Growth and Low Carbon Division, which is responsible for delivering the state's 10 key actions to prepare South Australia for electric vehicle (EV) uptake. As the Project Manager, EV Integration, Cathi manages the Statewide EV Charging Network and EV Smart Charging Trials grant projects. In addition, Cathi works with the Future Industries Team to champion other initiatives, including the EV Fleet Pledge and Tow Ready Holiday Parks, to encourage EV uptake, smart charging and decarbonising the transport sector in South Australia.

Luisa Panucio

Senior Project Manager, Civil and Architectural Engineer, Arup

University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Luisa Panuccio is on a mission to disrupt gender stereotypes and change the face of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

A qualified Civil and Architectural Engineer, Luisa currently works as a Senior Project Manager and Delivery Lead for major infrastructure projects within Australia.

Luisa is a passionate advocate for diversity in STEM, with a specific focus on engineering and the construction industry. Since 2015, Luisa has worked towards this goal as an ambassador for a variety of organisations including Engineers Australia, Children’s University Australia, Google, Engineers Without Borders Australia and the University of Adelaide.

Since commencing her career in engineering, Luisa has worked on a large variety of infrastructure projects across Australia. Having worked as a Contractor, Consultant and Client-side, Luisa has fostered strong relationships within all her teams by ensuring that clear communication and interactive collaboration are the foundation of all her professional dealings. Luisa employs critical thinking and evidence-based decision making to drive project delivery while retrospectively assessing each aspect of the process for any improvements or efficiencies to be gained.

In 2019, Luisa received the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Graduate of the Year Award for her role in managing a complex program of works involving the construction of 20 civil projects for the South Australian Department for Infrastructure and Transport.

Luisa was the recipient of the James McWha Rising Star Award in the University of Adelaide's 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards. The James McWha Rising Star Award honours the highest accomplishments and achievements of young alumni who are making a significant contribution as emerging leaders within their profession and community.

Lily Taylor

Optics Specialist, Defence Science and Technology Group, Australian Department for Defence

Lily Taylor is an Optics Specialist working for the Information Sciences Division in the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) within the Australian Department of Defence.

She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Laser Physics and a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) in experimental and theoretical physics from the University of Adelaide. She started working for DSTG in 2018 where she conducts research into laser satellite communications.

Lily has a particular interest in STEM outreach and is a passionate STEM advocate. She has participated in and led many outreach activities for Defence and is a strong advocate for young women and people from regional and remote communities in STEM.

Emma Cole

Innovation Manager, SA Power Networks

Meet Emma, the wonder woman of innovation! She's on a mission to make the world a simpler, more collaborative, and creative place for all. As the Innovation Manager at SA Power Networks, Emma's days are filled with integrating cutting-edge technologies, growing organisational capabilities, and nurturing new talent.

But Emma doesn't stop there - she's also a superhero for STEM education! In the last two years, she launched a robotics competition for schools that not only tackles critical challenges faced by SA Power Networks but also brings communities together and expands STEM education opportunities in both regional and metro areas. Is there anything this woman can't do?

And when she's not saving the world with her innovation superpowers, Emma is a non-executive director with the Australian Medic Alert Foundation. She uses her expertise and experience to drive positive change and impact in the community.

Emma is a true visionary and change-maker, committed to making a positive difference in the world through her work. She's the ultimate inspiration for anyone looking to make a meaningful impact on the world.


Follow us on instagram