Speakers

Professor Margaret Barbour
The University of Sydney

Professor Margaret Barbour holds a BSc in Biology and Earth Sciences and an MSc in Biology from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and a PhD in Plant Science from the Australian National University. Her research interests focus on plant response to the environment, working in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. In 2010 Margaret joined The University of Sydney as an ARC Future Fellow in Biosphere-atmosphere interactions.  She is currently the Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Science.

Dr Sue Barrell FTSE
Bureau of Meteorology

Joining the Bureau of Meteorology in 1980, Sue has held wide ranging roles from frontline forecaster to Senior Executive. Sue commences in July 2017 as the Bureau’s Chief Scientist, with responsibility also for Diversity, Inclusion and STEM. As Division Head, Observations and Infrastructure from 2014, Sue oversees the sustained operation of Australia’s meteorological infrastructure, delivering comprehensive observations of the earth system to underpin Bureau’s services. As acting CIO, Sue led a year-long change initiative to establish a coherent new Division with a strong ICT service culture, while maintaining continuously functioning 24/7 national operations.

From 2004, Sue was Branch Head, Observations and Engineering, bringing an integrated focus to the Bureau’s observing systems and establishing an enterprise data framework. Prior roles included climate science policy, including UNFCCC and IPCC, integrated system design, research and operational forecasting. Sue was Australia’s Principal Representative to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and a member of WMO Executive Council during 2016-17, and served eight years as Australia’s Principal Delegate to the Group on Earth Observations. Sue was Vice President, WMO Commission for Basic Systems from 2008 to 2016. She continues to co-chair several high-level WMO initiatives. Sue is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Graduate member of the AICD and serves/served on many government boards.

Professor Igor Bray
Curtin University

Igor received his PhD in 1986 in the Department of Mathematical Physics, University of Adelaide, for the thesis entitled “Gravitational Lens Effect of Galaxies and Black Holes”. He then joined the Quantum Collision Theory group at Flinders University, where he stayed until 2001. He then relocated to Murdoch University in Perth with his entire group, who moved together again to Curtin University in 2007. Since 2011 he has been Head of Physics and Astronomy at Curtin. Igor has been the beneficiary of five ARC Fellowships, numerous Discovery grants, a Centre of Excellence for Antimatter-Matter Studies, and the recipient of the Boas, Pawsey and Syme medals. He has co-authored around 450 articles which have attracted over 10,000 citations, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Institute of Physics and the Australian Academy of Science.

Natalie Chapman
gemaker

Natalie is Co-Founder and Managing Director of gemaker, a science and technology commercialisation consultancy. In 2017, gemaker won three Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards for Innovation, and the NSW Telstra Business Award for Microbusiness.

Natalie is also Corporate Communications Manager for ASX-listed Alkane Resources, and Board Director of Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA). Her previous work, as General Manager of Commercialisation at the Smart Services CRC, resulted in two successful spin-off businesses. As Leader of Business Development and Marketing at ANSTO, she provided strategic advice and managed the commercialisation of the intellectual property portfolio, including incubating and growing new businesses.

Professor Mahananda Dasgupta
Australian National University

Professor Mahananda (Nanda) Dasgupta is an experimental physicist at the Department of Nuclear Physics of the Australian National University. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Nanda is known internationally for her research on accelerator-based nuclear fusion and fission. Nanda completed her PhD in 1992 from the prestigious Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in 1998 by the Australian Research Council, and in 2004 she was the Australian Institute of Physics “Women in Physics” lecturer, undertaking a nation-wide lecture tour of Australia. In 2006, Nanda was awarded the Pawsey medal by the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding research in Physics in Australia by a scientist under 40 years of age. Nanda received the inaugural Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2011. Nanda has been a member of the National Physics Committee of the Australian Academy of Science, and is currently a member of the C12 committee of the IUPAP.

Anita Dwyer
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Anita Dwyer is a senior executive with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Most recently she has managed bilateral policy, aid and trade with Vietnam and Cambodia, including foreign policy. Anita has also managed the Australian Government’s aid and humanitarian funding in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, and led the Government’s disaster response team to the 2015 Nepal earthquake. She has had government and UN postings to Jakarta and Bangkok. Prior to her career in foreign policy and aid, Anita worked on risk modelling and disaster management science at Geoscience Australia. Anita has a Masters in Public Policy (MA Pub Pol, ANU) and honours degree in Earth Sciences (BA/BSc (Hons), Uni of Melb).

Kate Gunn
ARC Centre of Excellence in All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO)

Kate is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the ARC Centre of Excellence in All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), based at the University of Sydney. She has been in this role since 2011. This is a $30m Centre which is addressing fundamental unsolved questions about the Universe using the dramatic capabilities of next-generation telescopes and advanced instrumentation.

CAASTRO is led by The University of Sydney, in conjunction with The Australian National University, Curtin University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, Swinburne University of Technology and The University of Western Australia, complemented by a strong group of Australian and international partner institutions. It has 184 members, including 51 PhD students.

Kate has 25 years of business experience and has a strong industry background. Kate is the Founder and Director of Balance! Healthcare, a leader in multi-disciplinary integrated primary healthcare, which has practices in NSW and QLD. In 2015, Kate won a scholarship from Chief Executive Women to attend the Women’s Leadership Program, Harvard Business School, and in 2012 she was named as one of the inaugural 100 Women of Influence in Australia (by Westpac and the Australian Financial Review). Previously a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year, Kate has also been recognised with a number of business entrepreneurship awards over the years.

Kate holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Management from the University of South Australia. She is currently the Acting President of the National Foundation for Australian Women, and was previously the Chair of the Government funded National Women’s Alliance Economic Security4Women.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC
Australian National University

Professor Jagadish is a Distinguished Professor and Head of Semiconductor Optoelectronics and Nanotechnology Group in the Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University.  He holds honorary appointments at UESTC, Chengdu, Nanjing University, Tokyo University and Anna University.  He is currently serving as President-Elect of the IEEE Photonics Society, President of the Australian Materials Research Society.  His research interests include optoelectronics, nanotechnology and neuroscience.  Prof. Jagadish is an Editor/Associate editor of 6 Journals and 3 book series. He has published more than 580 journal papers, holds 5 US patents, edited 10 books. He is a Fellow of 5 Science and Engineering Academies (AAS, ATSE, TWAS, NAI, IASc) and 15 professional societies (APS, MRS, IEEE, AAAS, OSA…). He received 2015 IEEE Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology, 2015 IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award, 2016 OSA Nick Holonyak award and 2017 Welker award.  He has received Australia’s highest civilian honor, AC, Companion of the Order of Australia in 2016.

Professor Nalini Joshi AO
The University of Sydney

Professor Nalini Joshi AO is Chair of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney, and a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow.

Professor Joshi was born and spent her early childhood in Burma, before her family emigrated to Australia. She was awarded a BSc (Hons), with the University Medal in applied mathematics, by the University of Sydney and then a PhD in computational and applied mathematics by Princeton University in the USA.

In 2012, Professor Joshi was awarded an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellowship to work on the five-year project Geometric Construction of Critical Solutions of Nonlinear Systems which has a component to attract and retain female researchers in STEMM. She was a foundation co-Chair of the SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity) initiative jointly managed by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

In the 2016 Queen’s Birthday honours, Professor Joshi was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to mathematical science and tertiary education as an academic, author and researcher, to professional societies, and as a role model and mentor of young mathematicians.

Dr Madhura Killedar
The University of Sydney

Dr Madhura Killedar is a research engineer for the Sydney Informatics Hub at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Translational Data Science, providing data science support for partners at Westmead Institute of Medical Research and Kolling Institute. She received her PhD in physics at the University of Sydney in 2011, held postdoc positions in Italy and Germany, and continues to design and apply statistical tools to a range of astrophysics research projects. She has also worked in epidemiology and child nutrition developing computational models with a focus on optimising population health outcomes and uncertainty quantification, before moving to her current role.

Dr Helen Maynard-Casely
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Helen Maynard-Casely is a Planetary Scientist based at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) where she uses the neutrons and synchrotron x-rays to investigate the materials that make up our solar system.  She has a PhD in high-pressure physics from the University of Edinburgh and has been lucky enough to have collected data in facilities all over the world, blowing up a few diamonds along the way.  Always keen to tell anyone who’ll listen about planetary science, she writes a column ‘The Tides of Venus’ for The Conversation and tweets @Helen_E_MC.

Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths
Australian National University
Stuart Hay/ANU

Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths is a Research Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics (Mt Stromlo) at the Australian National University. She uses the world’s largest radio telescopes to study our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and nearby galaxies. Her team focuses on understanding the nature and evolution of gas in the Milky Way. She is also involved in science planning for the international Square Kilometre Array telescope. McClure-Griffiths is currently leading the 55-person international team to survey the Milky Way with the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. She is a native of the USA where she received her B.A. in Physics at Oberlin College in Ohio and completed her PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She came to Australia in 2001 as a Bolton Postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility. She held roles at CSIRO as an OCE Science Leader and the Head of National Facility Science and was a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. In 2006 McClure-Griffiths won the Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for her discovery of new structures in the Milky Way and in 2015 she won the Pawsey medal of the Australian Academy of Science for her contributions to physics.

Dr Brendan McMonigal
Google

Brendan McMonigal completed a PhD in Galactic Archaeology at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (The University of Sydney) – studying the formation and evolution of galaxies. During his PhD he taught himself to code and developed a love of programming; towards the end of the PhD he did an internship at Google and was lucky enough to be offered a permanent position. He has been at Google for a year now and loves the challenge of working on the expansion and evolution of their network.

Associate Professor Scott Morrison
Australian National University

Scott Morrison is a Future Fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Institute. He’s particularly interested in the interplay between higher category theory, topological field theory, and topological phases of matter. It’s an amazing story connecting pure mathematics, condensed matter physics, and quantum computation!

Before joining the ANU in 2012, Scott worked as a postdoc at Microsoft’s research group on topological quantum computation, Station Q, and then as a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Along the way, he helped start MathOverflow, the question-and-answer website for research mathematicians.

Dr Christine O’Keefe
CSIRO

Christine is a Senior Principal Research Scientist in CSIRO Data61, and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide. In addition to holding research leadership positions in CSIRO, Christine was the founding Director of the Population Health Research Network Centre for Data Linkage, and Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University.

Christine’s research focusses on methods to address the balance between allowing data access and use with protecting privacy and confidentiality of people and organisations represented in data. Her work was recognised with a Newton Turner Career Award 2010, awarded to exceptional senior scientists in CSIRO.

Christine has over 110 publications in refereed journals and conferences, across her fields of interest. Christine was awarded the 2000 Australian Mathematical Society Medal for distinguished research in the mathematical sciences and the 1996 Hall Medal of the Institute for Combinatorics and Applications for outstanding contributions to the field. In 2003 Christine was included on the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame Signature Quilt: A Patchwork of Empowerment.

Professor Margaret Sheil AO
The University of Melbourne

Professor Sheil was appointed as the Provost at the University of Melbourne in 2012. In this role, she is the Chief Academic Officer and Standing Deputy to the Vice Chancellor.

Professor Sheil has been a researcher in the field of chemistry, held senior roles at the University of Wollongong and was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (2007-2012). She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and was made an inaugural Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (ANZSM). Professor Sheil is a Director of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto) and Trinity College, University of Melbourne. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the CSIRO Science Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), the Clunies Ross Awards Committee of ATSE, the Advisory Board of the Australia Indonesia Centre. She has previously been a member of the Advisory Board for Coursera; and a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Innovation and Engineering Council, the National Research Infrastructure Council and the Cooperative Research Centres Committee.

In June 2017, Professor Sheil was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her distinguished service to science and higher education as an academic and administrator, through significant contributions to the national research landscape, and to performance standards.

Professor Sheil holds a Bachelor of Science and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from The University of New South Wales and was presented with the Science and Technology Alumni Award from UNSW in 2016.

Professor Sue Thomas
Australian Research Council

Professor Sue Thomas commenced as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council (ARC) in July 2017. Professor Thomas’s depth of experience in research and research management will help deliver ARC’s key priorities and deliverables.

Previously, the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of New England, Professor Thomas brings with her a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Her academic background lies in microbial genetics and she has significant experience managing innovation across a comprehensive range of disciplines.

Professor Thomas holds both a Bachelor of Science with Honours and Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology from La Trobe University in Victoria. Her professional career commenced with post-doctoral appointments at Princeton University in the USA and the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom. She joined Flinders University in Adelaide in 1990 and from the year 2000 to mid–2005 was head of the School of Biological Sciences.

In mid-2005, she moved to the University of Canberra to become Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health, Design and Science, and subsequently Pro Vice-Chancellor Research between 2007 and 2009. In this latter role, she was the senior manager responsible for the research and teaching activities of staff and students in a wide variety of disciplines. In 2009, she moved to Charles Sturt University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the senior executive responsible for research.

Professor Susanne von Caemmerer
ARC Centre for Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis

Susanne von Caemmerer is Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology at the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University. She completed undergraduate studies in pure mathematics in 1976 followed by a PhD in plant physiology in 1981. Her research expertise is in CO2 fixation by plants including the biochemistry/bioenergetics of C3 and C4 photosynthesis and the regulation of CO2 diffusion in leaves. She has worked across scales in biochemistry, molecular biology and whole plant physiology combining mathematical modelling approaches with experimental verification. She was part of a team that presented a comprehensive mathematical model of the biochemistry of C3 leaf photosynthesis, which is now used worldwide. In 2006 she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science as well as Leopoldina, the German Academy of Scientists. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2017.

Associate Professor Lesley Ward
University of South Australia

Lesley Ward is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of South Australia. She earned her BSc Honours degree from ANU and her PhD from Yale University, then held post-doctoral positions at Rice University and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), and a continuing position at Harvey Mudd College.  Her research is mainly in harmonic analysis and complex analysis. She also works in industrial applications of mathematics, carried out through the UniSA Mathematics Clinic, which she directs. Her book “Harmonic Analysis: From Fourier to Wavelets”, co-authored with M. Cristina Pereyra, appeared in 2012. In 2016 she gave a plenary lecture at the annual conference of the Australian Mathematical Society. Lesley Ward is the Past Chair of the Women in Mathematics Group (WIMSIG) of the Australian Mathematical Society, and has worked on gender equity issues in STEM disciplines at five institutions over many years. She is the Conference Director of the WIMSIG Conference 2017: Celebration of Women in Australian Mathematical Sciences, held 24-26 September 2017 at UniSA. She has won several teaching awards, notably the Mathematical Association of America’s Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching.