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Dr Kari Pitts is a Forensic Chemist and Mineralogist in the Physical Evidence Team of ChemCentre’s Forensic Science Laboratory. She holds a PhD and a Masters in Forensic Science from UWA, and a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Curtin University. Working at ChemCentre for nearing 16 years, her expertise is trace evidence; including paint, glass, gunshot residue, soils, fibres, and anything else that isn’t biological, a drug or radioactive. Dr Pitts has reported over 300 cases and given expert evidence in criminal trials in Australia and New Zealand. With a passion for outreach, she was the 2016 RACI WA Bayliss youth lecturer and a 2019-20 Science and Technology Australia Superstar of STEM.   In our conversation, we talk about Kari's journey to forensic science, working with physical evidence, and how it's not quite like CSI. Show Notes: Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Dr Nicole Tschierske is a scientist and positive psychology coach who helps experts and teams in STEM do better work. Nicole works with her clients improve their collaboration and communication skills so their work gets the momentum and recognition it deserves. She also helps construct ways of working that reduce stress, increase motivation and engagement, and deliver results. Nicole lives in Hamburg, Germany, holds a PhD in chemistry and is trained in coaching, positive psychology, change management, and advanced problem-solving. When she’s not buried in research papers and books you can find her taking long hikes in the German countryside or mesmerised by Mary Poppins on the screen.   In our conversation, we talk about Nicole's STEM journey, sustainable mental health in the workplace, and how we can do better work. Show Notes: Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
RJ Andrews is author and founder of Info We Trust. He is also the editor of the Information Graphic Visionaries book series. RJ's talent is helping organisations solve information problems. His passion is studying the history of information graphics to discover design insights.   In our conversation, we talk about Florence Nightingale's intriguing story, and how she used data visualisation in her campaign for sanitary reform. Show Notes: Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Jocelyn James is an engineering manager whose previous careers have included teaching, refugee services, and mental health research. As a disabled woman with a background in human rights, Jocelyn is passionate about inclusivity in engineering and ensuring that those with non-traditional routes into the field are not only included but celebrated.  Jocelyn lives in Manhattan with her 12-year-old Italian greyhound Florence, who rules the household despite not contributing to rent.   In our conversation, we talk about Jocelyn's indirect path to software engineering, improving the tech interview experience, and how remote work promotes inclusivity. Show Notes: Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Rachel Lee Nabors has worked in the web development industry for over a decade, working on web animations APIs and tooling with Mozilla, Firefox and the W3C; and working on browsers at Microsoft; and spearheading developer education on React and React Native teams at Meta. They are currently Technical Program Manager leading developer education on AWS Amplify. In our conversation, we talk about developer education and preparing for your next role. Show Notes: Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
This week STEAM Powered is doing an episode swap with History Detective by Kelly Chase. History Detective is a podcast for teachers, students and lovers of history. It delves into stories from the past that don't always get told in the textbooks. This episode is about Janine Haines. Janine Haines was a teacher with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Mathematics. She was a passionate advocate for girls to study mathematics and the sciences, and went on to pursue a career in politics becoming party leader of the Australian Democrats. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to the History Detective podcast, and if you're a teacher, every History Detective episode has resources that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Enjoy!
Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen OAM is a futurist who believes existing structures in the technology industry must change in order to serve tomorrow's digital landscape, and that our children's future job prospects depend on it. Her focus is on leadership, innovation, and education to champion Australian tech entrepreneurship, and address the necessary rebalancing of gender roles within the traditionally male-dominated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) space. In her highly illuminating presentations, Dr Beekhuyzen discusses her vision for Australia's future in technology, including the changes that will prove critical in helping leaders break traditional approaches that currently hold us back. More importantly, she proposes practical solutions that can mobilise a new generation of leaders and innovators who are committed to solving real-world problems with technology. In our conversation, we talk about the Foundation, cultivating an interest in STEMM, and teaching young girls life skills through entrepreneurship. Show Notes (link) [00:00:55] Jenine's journey to business and software engineering. [00:01:05] From vocational education to universiy. [00:03:56] Finding her space in advocacy and the Tech Girls Movement Foundation. [00:04:08] Jenine's research work leading to a desire to solve this known problem in industry. [00:05:23] The issues around the career pipeline for women in STEM. [00:06:54] How we engage children as young as 6 years old in STEM. [00:07:53] AEIOU. [00:11:28] Dr Stephanie Ryan's STEMM in your day-to-day. [00:12:30] Teaching kids to be problem solvers. [00:13:17] Allowing kids to take ownership of problems they want to solve. [00:13:36] Giving people a safe space to create. [00:15:21] How Tech Girls Movement Foundation creates environments and safe spaces to learn and create. [00:15:31] The Tech Girls competition and 12 week entrepreneurship program. [00:17:54] The opportunity to pitch in Silicon Valley. [00:18:24] 2021's winners created a 91 page business plan (!!) [00:18:53] Developing skills that we use in adulthood and the workforce. [00:19:21] Changing attitudes towards mathematics: Demonstrable real world applications. [00:21:25] Finance is more than money. It's about understanding the value of your work. [00:24:14] The trend towards well-being. [00:25:00] Reflections on your views as a mentor. [00:28:06] Mentorship is an exercise for the mentor as much as it is for the mentees. [00:30:18] Jenine's research work. [00:30:26] The low numbers of women in STEM. [00:31:09] Outreach on youth perceptions of STEM. [00:31:38] The state of the digital divide. [00:32:05] Cultural and linguistic diversity in STEM. [00:33:45] The challenges of isolation and remote work. [00:35:53] Communication and behavioural substitution. [00:37:47] Next steps in encouraging women to STEM and career longevity. [00:38:23] Valuing the voices of the younger generation. [00:38:54] Valuing the contributions of women in industry. [00:39:40] Achieving critical mass of women in industry. [00:40:04] Getting more women in positions where they can affect structural change. [00:40:52] Rising homelessness in women over 55. [00:41:37] The wider impact of inequity. [00:43:06] Novel solutions to systemic issues. [00:43:38] Pandemic of loneliness. [00:44:35] The growth area for communities and connection arising from the pandemic. [00:46:16] Tech Girls cultivating a network and community of likeminded individuals. [00:49:14] Failure is part of the process. [00:50:52] Not self-rejecting. [00:51:07] Inviting people into spaces they would otherwise not have considered. [00:53:45] The mindset of recognising your own abilities and experience. [00:54:57] Having champions as well as mentors. [00:55:48] Parenthood is part of your professional skillset. [00:57:02] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work? [00:57:06] Artistic problem-solving and mosaics. [00:58:29] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you? [00:58:55] Judy Blume and adventure. [00:59:12] Elizabeth Gilbert. [00:59:22] Supporting female authors and female voices. [01:00:12] The subtle differences between books with female vs male protagonists. [01:02:51] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore? [01:03:30] The 80% Rule. [01:05:30] The efficacy or lack thereof of gendered campaigns. [01:06:10] Be okay with not being good at everything, but try it anyway. [01:06:46] Redefining failure. [01:07:48] Finding out more about Jenine's work. Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Mild-mannered scientist by day, Dr Naomi Boxall is an intellectually curious, creative, change agent: always seeking to use my talents to improve health for the population. This has been within multiple fields so far, including public health and pharmacoepidemiology…what might be next? In our conversation, we talk about epidemiology, leadership, and the art in scientific enquiry. Show Notes (link) [00:00:49] Naomi's journey to biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology. [00:01:27] Exploring veterinary sciences. [00:02:11] Seeing the movie "Outbreak" and becoming fascinated by the field. [00:03:21] Restructuring her course to change trajectory. [00:03:59] PhD in Campylobacter jejuni. [00:04:21] Moving from animal health to public health. [00:04:37] Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) course by the CDC and EPIET programs. [00:05:39] Opportunity knocks, but you have to create the doors. [00:06:25] Experiencing different public health systems in the context of public health globally.[00:08:05] Working on surveillance systems and investigations for public health concerns. [00:09:26] How surveillance systems work for diseases and pathogens. [00:12:33] Transitioning to pharmacoepidemiology. [00:14:04] The varied paths to epidemiology. [00:15:56] Delving with your sense of curiosity to find answers. [00:18:05] Moving to pharmacoepidemiology. [00:18:16] Wanting to head towards the leadership path but utilise what she has learned in the course of her career. [00:20:25] How to transition towards leadership roles. [00:20:47] Lead by letting go. [00:21:26] Teaching and guiding as a leader. [00:23:55] Being able to share from your of wealth of experience. [00:24:32] It's valuable for the leaders to also understand the experience of working at the coal-face. [00:25:48] What surprises Naomi in the field. [00:26:24] Developing more women in leadership. [00:27:44] Equal maternity and paternity leave entitlements. [00:28:38] Research and analysis should be split by biological sex. [00:30:13] You won't know the answers if you don't ask the questions. [00:31:45] Both clinical trials and real world data can provide data for observational studies [00:33:49] Finding ways to enrich the data we have in observational studies. [00:34:55] Interlocution and context. [00:36:52] Patient centricity, information sources, and what to query. [00:39:07] How we stigmatise health. [00:39:44] You shouldn't have to be on the receiving end to think about perspective. [00:41:40] Taking your own context for granted. [00:42:25] The negative perception around not being at full health. [00:43:16] Say we're putting people first, and mean it. [00:44:26] Social structures need to support recovery and community health. [00:45:43] The challenges for policy makers. [00:47:44] We don't exist in a vacuum. [00:48:20] The power of microorganisms. [00:51:06] Bringing the humanities to the sciences. [00:55:19] Communication of public health policy through theatre and plays. [00:57:07] Using data visualisation to communicate data in an accessible and meaningful way. [00:58:30] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work? [00:59:09] Music. [00:59:29] Photography. [00:59:51] Sewing. [01:02:22] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you? [01:04:10] Naomi's novel. [01:06:58] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore? [01:08:06] There is more to epidemiology than just numbers. [01:11:24] Finding out more about Naomi and her work. Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Gabriella Martini is a curious, dynamic and adaptive engineering professional with a proven record of managing a portfolio of engineering projects from concept to implementation. She focuses on embedding sustainable business processes while generating and maintaining relationships, is dependable and a structured thinker who thrives on solving problems in challenging, fast paced and pressurised environments. Gabriella actively participates in a number of programs which promote a healthier STEM pipeline, always curious on how she can further broaden her impact. In our conversation, we talk about mechanical engineering, mentorship, mental health, and aquascaping. Show Notes (link) [00:00:50] Gabriella's journey to mechanical engineering. [00:02:09] Finding a good fit for learning and teaching styles. [00:02:18] Being given a set path, and a first generation university student. [00:05:17] The benefit of hindsight and the desire to help others find their way. [00:06:30] Where Gabriella saw her future in mechanical engineering. [00:06:51] Wanting to explore the full range of what mechanical engineering has to offer. [00:07:37] The scope of mechanical engineering. [00:08:58] The discipline allows you to be flexible and branch into other areas. [00:09:57] The growing range of industries in Western Australia. [00:10:30] Joining FirstMode. [00:11:27] About FirstMode. [00:12:52] Misconceptions about what the industries involve. [00:13:38] How to approach projects of this scale. [00:15:45] The similarities between operational and project settings. [00:16:25] You can't be formulaic in your processes with creative engineering. [00:17:09] Governance in mining and engineering. [00:19:11] The joys of Classified Plant. [00:21:13] Both project management and governance are working with people to solve problems. [00:22:25] It's about problem-solving and affecting change in the industry in various ways. [00:24:26] This is not the career Gabriella imagined she would have so far. [00:25:20] The mistaken belief that we have one chance to choose our path. [00:25:50] Using herself as an example of the indirect path. [00:26:09] Don't have regrets. Everything that happens is part of your journey. [00:26:28] Living with anxiety and depression and having a breakdown that became a pivot point for her life and career. [00:28:01] The stigma that still exists around mental health. [00:28:31] Being more open about her own experiences. [00:29:37] The changes that resulted after her breakdown, and being more conscious of self-care. [00:32:38] Finding methods that work for you. [00:33:03] Writing and reflection journals. [00:38:46] Motivated to mentor. [00:41:46] Experiences as a mentee. [00:42:18] To MBA, or not to MBA. [00:44:41] The opportunities we have to explore other facets of our fields. [00:48:31] Common first years at university. [00:49:10] How to juggle a heavy mentoring load and other commitments. [00:49:25] Calendar all the things. [00:50:08] A FIFO lifestyle teaches you to manage your time. [00:52:25] You perform better when you look after yourself. [00:53:55] Taking time to reflect on who you are and who you want to be. [00:56:04] Seeing the shift in being able to have open conersations about self. [00:58:26] Just as we innovate at work, we need to innovate how we treat ourselves. [01:01:52] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work? [01:01:58] Aquascaping. [01:04:48] It's nice to work with your hands. [01:06:42] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you? [01:07:53] Not really into books, K'Nex was where it's at. [01:08:52] LEGO Technic. [01:10:59] Zoom calls connecting people in more ways than one. [01:11:54] Travelling to North Korea. [01:13:49] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore? [01:13:53] "Why don't I give it a try?" [01:15:46] Advice may not take your capabilities and experience into account. Be discerning. [01:20:13] There's an art to giving and receiving feedback. [01:22:28] Finding out more about Gabriella and her work. Connect with STEAM Powered: Website YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo currently works at LinkedIn and holds a PhD in Physics and a Masters in Economic Policy. She is also accredited by the International Bateson Institute to host and conduct Warm data labs. A member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network for the Future of Digital Economy and Society, Civic Participation and the Future of Government, Audrey is passionate about how technology may be designed for better government and societal outcomes. Previously a Senior Policy Advisor for the Australian Treasury, Audrey has worked for over a decade in areas relating to Australia’s labour market, taxation and social policy. A long-standing advocate of Open Source Models in Government, Audrey is deeply interested in how information evolves and flows within society. She is also a Cybernetics enthusiast and a student of human sense-making. In our conversation, we talk about context and resilience, and how we approach living systems. Show notes and connect with us at (
Dr Anika Molesworth is a farmer, scientist and storyteller. She is widely recognised for her work in agriculture and food systems and generating climate change awareness, and is author of Our Sunburnt Country. Awards include Young Farmer of the Year (2015) and Young Australian of the Year, New South Wales Finalist (2017). Anika is passionate about ensuring the best possible future for the planet, people and the food on our plates. In our conversation, we talk about Anika's journey and passion for communicating agroecology and climate change awareness. Show notes and connect with us at (
Cairo Malet (she/her) is a cyber security professional, specialising in governance, risk and compliance. She currently works for Octopus Deploy, leading their GRC programme. Before moving to Octopus, she spent three years leading risk assessment and remediation at one of the world’s largest mining companies, working with technology across both enterprise and operational environments. Her previous experience includes consulting and internal positions, working with organisations across finance, government, healthcare, telecommunications and resources to assess their security posture and implement policy and process to increase security maturity. She is passionate about providing pragmatic security advice, increasing female representation in the Cyber Security industry, and Stardew Valley. She also has a degree in International Relations and a CISSP. In our conversation, we talk about Cairo's indirect journey to cyber security, and what cyber security entails from policy to supply chain cyber security and social engineering. Show Notes (link) Connect with STEAM Powered: Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Dr Kit Prendergast, also known as The Bee Babette, is a native bee scientist and science communicator. Her research focuses on discovering the biodiversity of native bees and identifying the factors that influence their abundance, diversity, and distribution, so that we can have an evidence-based understanding of their ecologies to better conserve our indigenous bees. Her research has also involved investigating the controversial topic of competition with the introduced European honeybee Apis mellifera. She loves getting out in nature and spending her days among the flowers seeking buzzy bees! In addition to her 'hard core' sciencing, the Bee Babette also is passionate about scicomm, and regularly gives presentations to local communities and schools about native bees and how we can all make a difference to their conservation. She is the author of 'Creating a Haven for Native Bees' and 'Abuzz About Dawson's Burrowing Bee', the latter about her research on her favourite bee, Amegilla dawsoni which she has a tattoo of a pair having sex on her shoulder. Kit was a Famelab Finalist and a Young Scientist of the Year Finalist in 2019. In our conversation, we talk about Australian native bees, bee conservation, and biological taxonomy. Show Notes (link) Connect with STEAM Powered: Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Pia Andrews is an open government and data ninja [1] who has been working in making the world a better place for 20 years. She currently works within the (public sector) machine to transform public services through greater transparency, democratic engagement, citizen-centric design, open data, emerging technologies and real, pragmatic actual innovation in the public sector and beyond. She believes that tech culture has a huge role to play in achieving better policy planning, outcomes, public engagement and a better public service all round. She is also trying to do her part in establishing greater public benefit from publicly funded data, software and research. Pia was recognised in 2018 and 2019 as one of the global top 20 most Influential in Digital Government and was awarded as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Australia for 2014. Pia is currently the Digital Lead and Special Advisor for the Benefits Delivery Modernization program at Service Canada (ESDC) in Ottawa, Canada. There she is helping design and deliver a holistic and modern digital channel for the Canadian Government to deliver a delightful, dignified, user-centric, responsive and integrated digital journey that motivates and empowers people to help themselves. In our conversation, we talk about digital commons, public policy, and Pia's dream of an optimistic future. Show Notes, Pia's bonus questions, and connect with us at ( [1] Pia has also studied martial arts since 1990, so she is more qualified than most to this title 😉 PS. I'm sorry about the noise, old house, tin roof, heavy rain. :(
Jesslyn Tannady is a Developer Advocate at Facebook. She creates educational content about Facebook's technologies so that anyone outside of Facebook can use them. In a past life, she worked on video games and augmented reality navigation tools for astronauts for NASA. When she's not thinking about virtual reality technology, she's probably illustrating or voice acting. You can find her on Twitter at @jtannady. In our conversation, we talk about Jesslyn's past life in Augmented and Virtual Reality, tech communities and democratisation, and reflecting on attending women's educational institutions.. Show notes and connect with us at (
Dr. Marsha Tufft is an engineer, author, speaker, and problem-solver. Her passion is helping kids succeed in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, math. She brings 35 years engineering experience at GE Aviation and degrees in mechanical, aerospace, and materials engineering to the creation of STEM experiments and projects that can be done at home because there’s nothing like learning by doing. She writes middle grade fiction books with a STEAM (=STEM+art) theme because stories change attitudes. Visit her website,, for STEM experiments, videos, and information about her books. In our conversation, we talk about Marsha's engineering journey, Putney's World, and underwater hockey. Show Notes and connect with us at (
Dr Stephanie Ryan, Ph.D. is a chemist, a boy mom, and a social media influencer who enjoys using her background to create superior educational products and content. Although an academic at heart, Dr Stephanie is passionate about learning through play. She can be found helping young kids explore the fascinating world around them. Over the years, Dr Stephanie has taught science to all age groups, both in and out of the classroom, helping toddlers learn about their world and college students define theirs. She is an active member of the chemistry education community and is currently a committee member of the International Activities Committee for the Division of Chemical Education. Dr Stephanie earned her Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences and her M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Saint Mary’s College. For great learning activities in the sciences, book recommendations, and more, follow Dr Stephanie on Instagram at @letslearnaboutscience. In our conversation, we talk about learning sciences, education, and Stephanie's book Let's Learn about Chemistry. Show notes and connect with us at (
Dr. Elanor Bell is a senior research scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division where her role combines a passion for conservation and the polar marine environment, with her experience of coordinating multi-national research and translating the outcomes to policy. Throughout her career, Elanor has wintered twice in Antarctica studying some of the smallest organisms on the planet (microbes) and now works on the largest creatures on the planet, Antarctic blue whales. In our conversation, we talk about microbial ecology, seahorses, whales, and working in Antarctica. Show Notes (link) Connect with STEAM Powered: Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Dr. Carly Howett is an Associate Professor at Oxford University. She is mainly interested in understanding the surface properties of icy worlds, including Saturn’s icy moons, Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, Europa, and Kuiper Belt Objects (including Pluto and Charon). She is the Deputy Principal Investigator of the Ralph Instrument on New Horizons, an Instrument Scientist on NASA’s newly selected Lucy mission and a Co-Investigator on two other NASA missions: Cassini and Europa Clipper. In our conversation, we talk about planetary sciences, icy worlds, and the upcoming NASA Lucy Mission. Show Notes (link) Connect with STEAM Powered: Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
Helen (tw: @heyohelen) is an earth scientist turned product manager turned startup founder. After leaving her mark at companies such as Zynga, Microsoft, and Github, she's gone on to co-found Co.Lab, a platform for technologists to upskill through cross-functional, project-based learning. Helen is especially passionate about thought diversity, the power of learning by doing, and cute cats. In our conversation, we talk about indirect paths to tech, entrepreneurship, and Co.Lab. Show Notes (link) Connect with STEAM Powered: Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Patreon Ko-Fi
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