Women are shaping the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – UQ researcher Dr Nasim Amiralian is proof of this.
I love research and I love to learn. So every day that I’m learning something new is an exciting and satisfying day for me – from working on a PhD project struggling for results to being in a team working on the development of different applications based on what I invented during my PhD. However, the most exciting experience I’ve had during my research work is getting to know my talents, my capabilities and myself better. I should elucidate that this would not have been possible without the great mentoring and support of my supervisor, Professor Darren Martin.
I work in the areas of engineering and technology which are traditionally the preference of men. However, in the last few years we’ve seen this trend shift towards the engagement of more female engineers and female leaders. Women have a lot to bring to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Being a woman is a great privilege – I’m happy to be a woman, to think like a woman (yes we think differently) and to look like a woman.
I love to share my passion about STEM with both scientific and non-scientific audiences and inspire the next generation of young scientists. I believe successful women can provide guidance to young people as role models and mentors, and foster enthusiasm about STEM disciplines among them – which is also part of being a scientist and is essential to Australia’s research and innovation future.
As such, I am involved in STEM engagement activities, including being an ambassador for the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and The University of Queensland, which allows me to share my enthusiasm for science with high school students and potential undergraduate students who are curious about a career in science and technology. I also provide leadership and guidance to the next generation of young scientists through the supervision of PhD students and organising conferences while also pursuing other similar opportunities, such as being a Queensland Flying Scientist and engaging rural Queenslanders in nanotechnology and materials engineering programs.
I’ve been instrumental in the development of a culture of collaboration and career support for the next generation of research leaders, in particular women in science. I was also a member of the AIBN Early and Mid-Career Researcher Committee during 2015 and 2016. More recently in 2016, after receiving the Women in Technology (WiT) Rising Star Award, I was invited to join the WiT Infotech/Life Sciences Committee. In all of my roles, my vision is to help different committees create a program that enables all early and mid-career researchers to reach their career goals and achieve research excellence.
My overall vision is to become a research leader of the future. Through my research and commercial endeavours, I aspire to make a difference in people's lives. In the long term, it is my passion to develop a platform for collaborative projects using spinifex and other natural renewable feedstocks for novel applications. I intend to continue carrying out innovative fundamental and applied research work for novel applications, and then translating the outcomes into commercial products. I hope to inspire the next generation of scientists to expand research on bio-derived sustainable materials with the unique properties transferable to global markets. I want to mentor young scientists toward delivering innovative products to the world.