Page 1


TERM 1, 2018

SCIENCE Turn study into start-ups p18

Top 9 industries for science graduates p6

Meet one of the Superstars of STEM p15



The world needs scientists.

QUT Science No. 00213J {CareersCRICOS with Science }



Better future u need Get the skills yo for a changing world


er you finish school? hat do you want to do aft e. That’s fine, because Chances are, you’re not sur today will alter many of the jobs around g l disruption and changin ita dig considerably due to – M EM lls in ST that’s for sure is that ski social needs. One thing dicine – will have a me d an ths eering, ma science, technology, engin ure. key role in shaping the fut work in areas gineers and researchers en ts, tis At ANSTO, scien nt, and result health and the environme that provide benefits to for industry. in innovative solutions innovation in of nuclear research and art he ANSTO is at the lti-purpose reactor, facilities – the OPAL mu Australia. Its world-class e for Neutron tron, the Australian Centr the Australian Synchro – are a critical part e for Accelerator Science Scattering and the Centr base. on, skills and economic of the countr y’s educati ge benefits for hu te era gen tinue to But ANSTO’s ability to con highly qualified ights and innovations of Australia relies on the ins o is using ANSTO’s le like Francesca Gissi, wh and skilled people. Peop n is absorbed by track how metal pollutio specia lised equipment to who is creating new 11). And Mitch Klenner, coral reefs (Science, page dicate cancers in the have the potentia l to era nuclear medicines that , who is using the 9). And Lillian Caruana near fut ure (Health, page everyday products, to find ways to improve latest nuclear technology metics (Health, page 11). such as shampoos and cos ferent people s working with many dif A career at ANSTO mean g problems areas. We’re about solvin across a range of industry that’s needed, th the research expertise and supplying society wi alth. Because Careers with Science/He which is why we support on, you can M skills with your passi through combining STEM fut ure for everyone. create a smarter, better Adi Paterson CEO, ANSTO 4 2017 stem term careers with

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[Human rights defender] [Master chef] [Fighter pilot] [Game designer] [Business guru ]


How to build a bionic body p21

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> Science > Maths > Engineering > Code

{Careers with Science}


Contents , s a e id w e n r e v Disco s e s r u o c d n a s r e care rs with Science & Health?

data Demand for rease in l c scientists wil e year by 39% by th 16 to p 2020. Turn to re! o m t u o find tics IBM Analy

ee in a vir tual reality What is Cdear th medicine could result gree when combined wi gineering

What science you take a material en g ople’s lives? How can t diseases from samplin program that saves pe phone, so it can detec art sm a m d for an ns ns tra tio it degree and use answers these ques of Careers with Science alth, with the hottest your breath? This issue issue of Careers with He r ve -co flip s, nu bo the ing caring careers, more! Plus, get ing fields, fastest-grow erg em th wi h alt he ng latest job trends, careers combini m in the future. Get the for ns tra ll wi s ce rvi se and how health s, quizzes and more at grees and catch video salar y information, de m






these Science is still trying to answer ns stio que g zlin four puz

Top 9 industries for science graduates

There’s more to a science car being in a lab all day


er star How worms are helping our cov entia dem d tan Amy Hef fernan unders

eer than

Be a planet saver


Amazing Aussie inventions that are saving the planet


Gone bananas



fav fruit QUT research is keeping our ens hog pat t plan free of


Blue yonder


TO can Biology and chemistry at ANS n utio poll from save our coral reefs RO

VR in the ER


Big data meets biology


young Virtual reality could help this USyd doctor save lives Bioinformatics is an exciting new scientific world

for many Data science opens the door hs pat eer car different

Get fit

flip 4

Community check

flip 6

Tech for good

flip 8

s Get ting healthier is big busines Health careers to help people d New disruptive businesses nee y tall digi k thin can who ple peo


Research into revenue


ANSTO is working on eradicating certain cancers in the future

Start-ups for social good


Apps against anxiety

flip 10

Make your own luck

flip 11

star t-up UQ’s the place to kickstar t a ree deg nce career from your scie

Five innovations to help the wor


Breathe easy

Medicine’s changing face flip 9


able to Your smartphone will soon be detect disease

tory course direc ence Where to study sci


the An Australian health app is at ative neg rs’ use ting trea of t fron fore urs avio beh and thoughts, feelings,

made her ANSTO intern Lillian Caruana job am dre her ed nail and own luck

Health and medicine in flip 12 the future or Three experts predict the maj see ll we’ s ugh hro medical breakt in the nex t 50 years

course direclthtory flip 14 Where to study hea

12 {Careers with Science}

flip 3

Pushing the envelope

s! Make $$$ from your great idea

Reef obsession

Jesse Hawley set s sail with CSI


Sky’s the limit

issues Using science to bat tle global hunger ld wor and nge like climate cha From sun-catching tiles to rec tyres

Why study health?

Hot health career areas

Disease buster 15




: e c n e i c s p e e D the world’s eries biggest myst e, c discoveries being mad ifi nt ie sc ge hu e th l al Despite ave experts stumped. some questions still le aiting to be solved w ill st s rie te ys m ur fo Chloe Walker looks at



How does gravity work?

Is there life beyond Earth? The obser vable universe is around 93 billion light years across, and there are 60 billion planets in the Milky Way alone that could y potentially support life. It seems statisticall so rse, unive the in alone likely that we’re not where are all our extraterrestrial friends? In 2015, NASA’s then Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan predicted we would find definitive evidence of alien life within 20 to 30 years. How you can help: Fancy yourself as a bit of an alien hunter? Study a Bachelor of Science majoring in astronomy.

Since Isaac New ton developed his law of universal gravitation in the late 1600s, phys icists have studied how gravity behaves. But they still don ’t have a theory explaining why it exists. Gravity keep s our feet on the ground and Earth orbiting the Sun , but classical ideas about gravity fall down when qua ntum mechanics get involved. How you can help: Study quantum physics as part of a Bachelor of Science to figure out which way is up.

s purr?e t a c o d w o h y scientific mystery is about th

Not ever complex mind-bending, universe and lievable, but ht seem unbe issues. It mig purr. We know how cats we still don’t , rumbling ng that soothi e ak m ey th know when they ey’re happy or noise when th an butlers, from their hum want service dies that bo r organ in thei but there’s no know t n’ und and we do makes the so from. where it comes cuddly cat lp: Solve this he n ca u yo How Graduate a Bachelor or ith w m ru nd conu al Science. ience or Anim Diploma in Sc

Why do we sleep? We spend a third

of our lives sleeping, an d everyone knows how im portant it is to get a good night’s sleep. Bu t scientists are only starting to figure out wh at happens when we sleep, and why we evolved to sleep while other animals res t in other ways. Then there’s also the qu estion of why we dream – research sho ws that missing out on the dream phase of sleep is equivalent to not sleep ing at all. How you can help: A Bachelor of Science majoring in Ne uroscience could help you dream up an important sleep discovery.


{Careers with Science}


– far beyond the lab u yo ke ta ill w ce Scien at today’s biggest, se p im gl a st ju s e’ her . t career outcomes es b d an st te gh ri b your future! Go ahead, choose

Get smart about business

Business, management and consultancy

Code, create and connect

IT, communications and technology

Jobs: Computer scientist, information systems profes sional, systems analyst, web develop er Study: Science majoring in computer science, information system s, mathematics, statistics

Tech careers in industries like robotics, communications, gam ing and security are set to explod e. The Australian ICT workforce is expected to expand to 700,00 0 workers by 2020, with growth nearly 1.5 times greater than the rest of the job market (Deloitte Access Economics, 2015).

Jobs: Entrepreneur, business owner, human resources manager, business/ management consultant Study: Science majoring in maths, statistics, economics, business, management

Entrepreneurs are making their mark in economics, finance, agriculture, healthcare and many more industries, while in 2017, 35,000 consultants will sell $8 billion worth of advice in Australia alone (University of Sydney, 2017). Due to their high-level, complex reasoning skills, science graduates are highly valued in the consulting industry (University of Sydney, 2017). Start your start-up career on p18.

Make a better world

Sustainability and energy

Jobs: Environmental scientist, environmental consultant, environmental protection officer Study: Environmental science, environmental systems

Job prospects are looking great for the next wave of ‘green collar’ workers. The global green economy is worth $6 trillion and is the world’s fastest growing market, whether in buildings, infrastructure, water or mining. In Australia, the green workforce will grow to 850,000 by 2030 (University of Sydney, 2017) – great news for the environmentallyminded science graduate. Flip to p8 to save the planet.

Get faster, fitter & better Health and sports sciences

Jobs: Dietitian/nutritionist, biomechanist, sports statistician, exercise physiologist, sports/exercise scientist, sports psychologist, sports dietitian Study: Dietetics, nutrition, physiology, anatomy, psychology

As our global obsession with living a healthy lifestyle grows, so does the job market in the health sciences. Employment for dietitians has risen by a rate of 5.6% over the past five years and is expected to continue to grow (Open Universities, 2017). Sports scientists – who assist athletes with their training and rehab – are also in high demand. Flip the mag and head to p6 to read about health + wellbeing.

{Careers with Science}



s e i r t s u d n i 9 Top e c n e i c for s s e t a u d gra

Teach the next gen Education and training

Jobs: Science teacher, school administrator, curriculum developer, science presenter, training content writer, training consultant, research officer Study: Education, communication

e Farm the futodur Agriculture and fo

scientist, l/environmental Jobs: Agricultura ltant, or/manager/consu agricultural advis obiologist, icr scientist, food m agronomist, food rance officer food quality assu ience, tal studies, soil sc en m on Study: Envir science agribusiness, food

Looking to inspire the next generation of scientists? There are a range of government incentives and scholarships to encourage young people to work in STEM education, particularly in rural areas. Always in demand, education and training jobs are projected to increase by 500,000 in 2025 (Federal Government Future Focus Report, 2013).

ete r plates: the compl From the farm to ou ain provides more than ch od agricultural supply stralians, and the fo l jobs. Au to s job n io ill al 1.6 m of nt ce r pe for about 15 ultural industry accounts ric ag r fo d an m huge de to There’s currently a le with six jobs availab 17). science graduates, 20 versity of Sydney, every graduate (Uni

Scan the skies

Fight disease and disability

Medicine and biotechnology

Jobs: Analytical chemist, biomedical scientist, health physicist, microbiologist, neuroscientist, laboratory technician, clinician, policy and business developer Study: Biochemistry, microbiology, neuroscience, statistics

It’s not just doctors who save lives – scientists are frequently at the origin of medical advances. There are currently more than 40,000 jobs in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors (University of Sydney, 2017). See the future of health by flipping to p12.

See the big picture Data science

Jobs: Data scientist, data analyst, computer scientist, mathematician, bioinformatician Study: Data science, computer science, mathematics, statistics, bioinformatics

The Harvard Business Review called data science “the sexiest job of the 21st century” for a reason! Industries such as medicine, life sciences, insurance, retail and security rely on data scientists and analysts. The big data global market will grow to more than $200 billion in 2020 (IDC, 2015) and in Australia, demand for data scientists is far outstripping supply. Turn to p16 to get started.



Jobs: Astronomer (in observatories, universities, and research organisations such as CSIRO and CAASTRO), science presenter (in museums) Study: Astronomy, physics, computer science, mathematics

The sky’s the limit for Australian astronomers. We’re at the forefront of the industry, playing a huge role in the construction of the next-generation radio telescope with the international Square Kilometre Array organisation, which will be used to make ground-breaking discoveries about the universe. Astronomers also gain skills that are translatable across climate science, data analytics, engineering and much more.

{Careers with Science}


Be a planet saver change and famines? Want to tackle climate n take you there! A career in science ca


brendan brown

Bachelor of Science (Agriculture), University of Sydney

{Careers with Science}

Research Officer, Austr alian Centre for International Agricultur al Research

Progr am Officer in Agricultur al Development, FAO

Smallholder Agricultur al Innovation Specialist, University of Adelaide



Hunger fighter Brendan Brown is using his science knowhow to help farmers in Africa grow food


took a career guidance sur vey in high school, and the first career that came up for me was agricultural scie ntist. I loved the idea of working outdoors wh ile solving some of the world’s biggest proble ms, from food securit y to environmental sustainability. “While I was studying agricu lture and soil science at university, I got involved with social justice issues. I became aw are of how my scientific skills could be use d to make a positive impact. I developed a passion for helping farmers improve the ir livelihoods after doing work experience in Tanzania. “There are a lot of great tec hnologies available for smallholder farm ers in Africa, but most of them never get used. Through my research, I have helped farmers and aid organisations bet ter und erstand technological change so tha t they can grow more food and earn a bet ter income. “I have worked on a huge var iety of projects, from improving irrigation tec hniques in Cambodia in Southeast Asi a to beekeeping and rabbit production in Gha na in west Africa. It’s so rewarding to work wit h a group of people to improve the way things are done. “With climate change and economic challenges, millions are stil l going hungry. We need motivated and skilled young scientists to solve these problems for goo d. Find a cause that you’re passionate abo ut and draw on your skills to make the world a bet ter place.”


e live in a time where global temperatures are reaching record-breaking levels, millions of people go hungry every day and entire ecosystems are under threat. Thankfully, people with science degrees are helping to solve the world’s toughest problems, using their knowledge to create smart, renewable energy solutions and develop healthier food. From cars to electricity, the things we use every day pump enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A team of chemists at CSIRO have developed a powdered material that could help cut the harmful emissions produced by industry. The porous, crystal-like material acts like a sponge that can soak up toxins in water and harmful gases, and store huge amounts of carbon instead of it being released into the atmosphere. With more than 700 million people around the world going hungry, scientists are also exploring ways to make food more nutritious for those who need it the most. A team from UNSW Sydney are developing methods for fortifying wheat flour with more nutrients, such as iron, zinc and niacin, to help communities get the most out of their food. A major challenge for environmental scientists is keeping track of large wildlife populations and areas of land. Bush Heritage Australia are using drones to monitor vegetation growth and fire regimens in the Gondwana Link bush corridor in Western Australia. These drones can collect data faster and more accurately than humans, making land management easier for conservationists. – Gemma Conroy

5 #1

Amazing Aussie inventions that are saving the planet

Waves of energy


You’ve obviously heard of solar and wind energy, but the ocean can also be a powerful energy source. Carnegie Clean Energy has invented an underwater unit that harnesses the massive amounts of energy produced by ocean waves to produce electricity and desalinated water. Visit:


With more people switching to solar energy, there’s a push to make the technology even more efficient. Tractile have created solar roof tiles that are the only tiles in the world that can provide a home with electricity and heated water. Visit:

From tyres to fuel

e v a s + e c n e i c S the planet

Discarded tyres are a common sight in bushland and riverbanks, creating a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. Green Distillation Technologies has found a way to convert tyres into carbon, oil and steel – without producing harmful emissions. Visit:



Sun-catching tiles

urself al Make it yobile app/education

Floating rubbish bin It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans! Developed by two eco-savvy surfers, Seabin is a floating device that can collect up to 1.5 kilograms of trash, oil and detergents from waterways each day. Visit:

Play OFFSET!, a free mo ys to reduce carbon game by NASA. Find wa bal warming. emissions and tackle glo production and waste Track the world’s food rld Food Clock. in real-time with the Wo e energy and power Learn about renewabl e The World on Sav g yin sources by pla your computer.

ons Study optiviro nment and

Bachelor of Science (En rsity of Southern Sustainability), Unive ly/USQBofS bit. nd: Queensla (Renewable Energy y Bachelor of Technolog of Newcastle: ty rsi ive Un s), System RES ofT and Land Diploma of Conservation NSW: FE TA EN OT , Management

is Share thbyt es

Heat-bouncing paint

Twitter: @conserv atechange Instagram: @nasaclim

To reduce the need for energy-sucking air conditioners in summer, SkyCool have invented a paint that deflects heat from the sun. The paint is applied to the roof to reflect heat before it enters the building. Visit:

Hot jobs

ist: $50k – $97k* Environmental scient energy: $66k – $100k Engineer, renewable tant: $73k – $150k sul con Senior energy k Ecologist: $48k – $78 0k $11 – k $50 t: lys Policy ana

*Salaries according to


{Careers with Science}


Professor James Dale

Gone bananas it lies Forget pyjamas, the fate of this fru

in its genes



e Australians love a banana – we eat more than five million of them every day. Globally, more than 100 billion bananas are consumed every year, and they are a staple food in many countries making them one of the most important food crops worldwide. But this much-loved snack is under attack from a sinister plant pathogen that could wipe it out for good. Thankfully, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have come up with a clever solution. Nearly half of the bananas grown around the world are varieties of Cavendish bananas, and almost all of the 414,000 tonnes of bananas grown in Australia every year are Cavendish. But it wasn’t always the king of the fruit bowl. Before Cavendish, the world’s favourite banana was the Gros Michel, or ‘Big Mike’. Big Mike was a popular guy, but his downfall came in the 1950s–’60s when a fungal disease called Fusarium wilt (or Panama disease) swept through plantations, nearly wiping the variety out completely. The disease is caused by a soil-borne pathogen that infects the roots before spreading through the rest of the plant via its vascular system, causing the plant to wilt and die. It is resistant to fungicide, can’t be controlled with chemicals, and spores from the fungus can contaminate soil for decades, rendering land unusable for non-resistant varieties. Cavendish was found to be resistant at the time, and replaced Big Mike everywhere. But while Cavendish was able to fight off this first wave of Panama disease, it is now under attack from a different strain, known as Tropical Race 4 (TR4). If TR4 was to spread to major plantations around the world, the banana as we know it could become extinct. Fortunately, researchers from QUT may have found a way to battle this strain

{Careers with Science}

of Panama disease. They took a gene from a TR4-resistant wild banana and used it to genetically engineer the Cavendish. They then planted the transgenic banana in a plantation in the Northern Territory that was heavily infested with the disease. At the end of the trial, one genetically modified plant line was completely disease-free, while three others showed strong resistance. QUT’s lead researcher on the project, Professor James Dale, says this is a highly promising result. “These results are very exciting because it means we have a solution that can be used for controlling this disease,” he says. “TR4 can remain in the soil for more than 40 years and there is no effective chemical control for it. It is a significant threat to commercial banana production worldwide.” The gene is also present in Cavendish naturally, but it’s not very active. James and his QUT team now hope to find ways to increase the gene’s activity by using gene editing. “It’s a complex process that is a way off, with four or five years of lab work,” he says. “We’re also looking at and screening wild bananas to identify other resistance genes, not only for resistance to TR4, but to other diseases.” James and his team recently further advanced another decade-long research project developing a banana rich in pro-vitamin A. Between 650,000-700,000 children die from vitamin A deficiency each year. James hopes his bio-fortified banana will save lives. “We tested hundreds of different genetic variations in our QUT lab and in field trials in Queensland until we got the best results,” he says. “These elite genes have been sent to Africa in test tubes where they have been inserted into Ugandan bananas for trials there.” How to get to QUT: Visit for more information. 10



Reef obsession ANSTO



CSIRO Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship

PhD, University of Wollongong


ANSTO Postgraduate Research Award

very working day brings Francesca Gissi a new learning experience – and she loves it. “I love the opportunity to learn different skills, to network and meet scientists and learn from them,” she says. In her research at CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Francesca uses highly specialised equipment to track how metal pollution is absorbed into different parts of coral. “Being on site at ANSTO gives me access to scientists who can teach me new techniques, as well as giving me the opportunity to use some of the specialised instruments available here,” she says. Francesca is an ecotoxicologist. “A cross between environmental chemistry, ecology and biology,” she explains. “Currently, I’m investigating the impacts of metal contaminants on aquatic organisms, so I need to understand the chemistry involved, as well as the biology and the ecology of the organisms that we’re working with.” After her first year of study at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) doing a Bachelor of Environmental Science, Francesca visited the Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, which is part of the federal scientific research agency CSIRO, and was fascinated by its research into aquatic ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry. She applied for an internship and began work at CSIRO the next year, completing her degree with Honours part-time. She is now doing her PhD through the University of Wollongong. “I’m at ANSTO under a postgraduate research award, which has been a great way to collaborate and get people involved in my project.” Francesca is currently preparing water quality guidelines to reduce potential harm from nickel mining in the tropics, which is on the increase in the Philippines, Indonesia and New Caledonia. Her research focuses on how substances in the marine environment – including pollutants – are taken up, accumulated and distributed in corals. “ANSTO has instruments that we can use to really delve in and answer that question about the corals’ internal mechanisms,” she says. At the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville in northern Queensland, Francesca used the National Sea Simulator to expose coral fragments to certain concentrations of metals in seawater. “I’ve now taken those coral samples to ANSTO to look at the concentration of the metals in the tissues using a technique called inductively coupled mass spectroscopy,” Francesca explains. “I’ve also used an elemental mapping technique, which gives an image of the coral fragment and shows where there has been an increase in uptake of a certain metal.” She’s planned more tests using ANSTO gear to study how corals respond. There’s lots of variety in her job – one day she can be gathering coral samples on the Great Barrier Reef; another day she’s talking to other scientists and learning different techniques, then using complex equipment for research, or writing up her findings. “I might spend eight hours at a time in the lab, running tests and gathering data,” she explains. “Then, I could spend the next week at a computer, processing and analysing the information, and doing the detective work to make sense of it all!” PATRIA JANNIDES

francesca gissi

Francesca Gissi’s work will help pro tect reef-building corals from mining po llution

how to get there: Visit for more information.


{Careers with Science}


Podcaster, illustrator, social media star and science fanatic Jesse Hawley takes to the high seas in the name of science exploration


I’m on the CSIRO research vessel RV Sydney, Investigator, and we’re voyaging from f, across Ree ier Barr at Gre up the coast past the me, WA. Broo to on and the Gulf of Carpentaria a ting duc con er On board is a research STEM two ion, icat mun survey on science com the on hed perc t ogis thol teachers, and an orni up high room out look ll ‘monkey bridge’, a sma ’s ship the of t brun the on deck seven that cops g bein to get can you est movements. It’s the clos . stick e selfi a of a camera on the end We’ve also got our regular onboard crew ies: who analyse all the classic oceanic good th dep , ture pera tem ity, things like water salin g usin is team arch rese and the seafloor. One ially spec and ors sens Investigator’s onboard iculate fitted equipment to catch airborne part s) all ient nutr r othe and matter (containing iron tor’s stiga Inve me. Broo to the way from Sydney icles part air ing nell fun foremast is a snorkel, can be down into the ship’s lungs, where they . date later analysed in a lab at a This data can then be matched up with dust weather events that occur on land (e.g. ther wea the h muc how storms) to determine (e.g. es rish flou m can stimulate ecosyste phytoplankton blooms) in the oceans.


The days have just swept by. Breakfast, sun, dinner, breakfast, sun, dinner … We’ve learnt a lot, but what truly floated my boat was the ability of the ship, its scientific instruments and the people on board. On one of its most recent voyages, Investigator went to the Eastern Abyss, a deep sea plain down thousands of metres. Thanks to the crew, like seagoing instrumentation technician Aaron Tyndall, who constructed a deep towed camera, the scientists were able to watch a live feed of that abyss. Certificate IV in Screen and Media, Communications, TAFE NSW Petersham

Bachelor of Science (Biology), University of Sydney


Around 1 am we found the wreck of SS Macumba lying 40 m under the Arafura Sea off the Northern Territory. It’s been a flurry of media activity, satellite calls and interviews. On Friday 6 August 1943, the SS Macumba was carrying supplies for the war effort in Darwin when two Japanese aircraft came in low and opened fire on the vessel. Three members of the crew were killed in the attack, and Macumba took enough damage that it began to sink. Disappearing below the waves, the vessel wasn’t to be seen for 74 years. Circumnavigating the top half of Australia’s coastline has been a unique experience – not just for us, but for science. There’s scarce data for our tropical waters and the species that inhabit them, so we didn’t know what to expect. Each day I get up and look out and the sea’s personality is different. In fact, most things are different each day, always surprising. I’ve learnt too much to ever document or pass on entirely, and I’ve only been on the ship for a fortnight.


Sweet solution Spent sugarcane is the latest agricultural waste product with renewable potential


hen sugarcane is squeezed for its sugar-rich juices, a pulpy by-product called bagasse is left over. If left to rot, it ends up producing large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 27 times worse for the ozone layer than carbon dioxide. But bagasse holds great potential as a recycled food source for livestock. The microbial eco-systems contained within the sugarcane mulch are diverse and adaptable depending on their environmental influences. Many new strains of bacteria, yeast and fungi live within the bagasse, and are being investigated by a group from QUT to unlock its food-source potential. Rebecca Ainscough is one of the student research assistants on the project. Participating in the group was a result of Rebecca’s ‘Vacation Research Experience Scheme’ scholarship from QUT. “The university has provided so many research opportunities that give you industry-linked, hands-on experience. Practical work is the most important thing you can do to improve confidence in your theoretical work,” says Rebecca. At first, Rebecca couldn’t decide on a degree that best suited her. Now, she’s completing a Bachelor of Biology, minoring in chemistry, which allows her to combine her two scientific passions. “It’s so easy to personalise your degree,” she says. “QUT has brought to life my love of biochemistry.”

Communications Advisor, CSIRO

{Careers with Science}

Bachelor of Science (Biology), QUT


Research assistant, qut


Blue yonder


The University of Sydney

R E e h t VA faRscinin ality could help ation with virtual re ve lives eber Liu has his sights set on developing new approaches to virtual reality that can be used in medical education and to improve patient outcomes. In his third year of the double degree medicine program at the University of Sydney (he also has a science degree under his belt), Weber says his dream of becoming a doctor looked shaky until his final years at school, when he finally “took ownership of my education and pushed myself”. He loved chemistry and physics, but Weber knew he needed a solid foundation in biology to study medicine. His science degree allowed him to fast-track those subjects, and he also threw himself into science subjects like physiology, neuroscience and pharmacology. “Now that I have an in-depth grasp of biology concepts, it has really helped me prepare in biochemistry and physiology, and have the confidence to study medicine,” he says. While he still hopes to become a surgeon, Weber says he’s also open to seeing where his academic journey takes him. “Biomedical engineering may be an option. Whatever I do, I want to work with engineers to bring new technologies and better methods to improve medicine.” Having a mentor at university has also been a huge help with furthering his studies. “My supervisor was really approachable,” Weber says. “He pushed me to explore my interest in computer science.” Weber is now writing virtual reality applications as educational tools for teaching bioscience, which blends his love of computer science and neuroscience. “This lets me combine my interests in computer science, advanced biology and neuroscience,” he says. He believes there’s a strong role for virtual reality and augmented reality programs in

medical education and clinical studies. “Immersive environments allow students to understand the incredible scale of things even within the smallest of spaces, such as being inside a neuron. It’s an experience and insight that you could never get from just a medical textbook.” – Brendan Fitzpatrick

Weber liu Bachelor of Science (Advanced), The University of Sydney

Doctor of Medicine (BSc/MD), The University of Sydney

By asking the big questions, we could change the world With more than 70 research centres and a vision of addressing some of society’s greatest challenges, we are preparing for a bold new future. Study with us and learn from some of the brightest minds in science. There’s never been a better time to join us.


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sa this medicine student

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Bioinformatics is a relatively new area of scientific study merging two fields to create amazing insights

Big data meets biology



t’s safe to say that people are generally more complicated than grapes. But until the human genome was mapped in the 1990s, we never knew that grapes have about 50% more genes than we do. Scientists have since discovered that numbers of genes don’t necessarily reflect complexity — so don’t worry about super grapes taking over the world. Discoveries like these wouldn’t be possible without a great understanding of genetics and the computer tools to process huge amounts of data. Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that combines biology, statistics and computer science. The term ‘bioinformatics’ was coined more than 40 years ago to describe research that uses information technology to better understand complex and intricate biological systems. It is an essential component of genetics research, with one of the most famous examples being the Human Genome Project. Bioinformaticians develop and/or use the tools that are essential for data acquisition, storage and analysis. Alex Essebier, a PhD student at the University of Queensland, is developing computing tools to better understand developmental disorders and diseases. She was studying a dual degree in science and IT when she first took a course in bioinformatics, which she describes as “her perfect fit”. Now in the second year of her PhD, Alex finds her research incredibly rewarding. “You can push the boundaries of human knowledge: there are so many different ways you can use your skills to improve people’s lives.” After graduation, Alex will either continue her career in research or move into industry. The broad range of industries seeking bioinformaticians includes biotech, pharmaceutical and software companies: basically any industry that needs to compile and analyse biological and healthcare data. Alex encourages students interested in a career in bioinformatics to make studying programming a priority, particularly in the fields of data structures, algorithms and machine learning (she’s currently programming with Java and Python languages). These skills apply to both research and industry, and they are the perfect complement to a background in life sciences. – Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

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Try a machine learning course my. Learn Java through Codeacade ning lear for form plat a d, Check out Rosalin ing. bioinformatics via problem solv

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rmatics), Bachelor of Science (Bioinfo UNSW: ours) Bachelor of Biotechnology (Hon Biotech (Bioinformatics), UQ: nology and Graduate Diploma in Biotech ersity: Bioinformatics, La Trobe Univ tech eBio Trob

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Bachelor of Science (Honours), Uts Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Uq

PhD (Environmental/ Analytical Chemistry), Uq Senior Researcher, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Disease buster dr Amy Heffernan uses wo to better understand deme rms ntia

hey’re only 2 mm long, tran sparent, and have no bones or heart, but nematode worms can tell us a lot about our own genetic s. Analytical chemist Dr Amy Heffernan is studying these organisms to better understand the progression of neurological diseases, suc h as dementia. Amy describes her career in research as incorporating all the ‘omics’: genomics (the study of the genome), proteomics (the study of proteins) and transcripto mics (the study of how DNA is transferred and expressed in cells). Her work is completely multifa ceted. “There’s no ‘typical day ’.” She wears a biologist’s hat when growing the nematodes , before switching to a wet chemistry role as the worms are proces sed to obtain proteins. From her e, Amy heads to the mass spe ctrometer, a device used to identify spe cific protein compounds. She will then spend several days analysing bucketloads of data with the use of bioinformatics tools to better understand the roles these proteins play in disease development . This inspiring young resear cher has recently been recogn ised as a Superstar of STEM by Scienc e & Technology Australia. Her goals are to translate her research into the public health sphere, and she’s currently focused on communicating her work to government bod ies and industry. “I’m motivated by the finding s of my research being used to improve public health,” she says. In high school Amy studied science, advanced maths and extension English, and now her job com bines all of these passions. She encourages everyone considering a STE M career to “just go for it: kno w your value and develop your skills”. – Lar issa Fedunik-Hofman

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t i m i l e h t s ’ y k S ty of career choices Diving into data science will provide you with plen


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Geoff webb 16

Science+Data Make it yoursel f

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ail, data science rk in tech, fintech or ret wo to like ’d you r the he nities. Every ng employment opportu skills can lead to amazi eds data analysis ne ta da tor that produces sec or ion rat po cor , business gy. ay decisions and strate to improve their everyd e places. You e you to some incredibl tak can ta da big in ng Worki r focus might rtups like Airbnb, or you sta g win gro y idl rap could join ld even be using a major retailer. You cou for rce me om e-c g vin be impro auts on Mars! l health effect s of astron tia ten po the p ma to big data y, but we’re only for most of this centur d un aro en be s ha ta Big da Companies like can actually do with it. we at wh see to g rtin now sta over the past five wth (43,000 per cent gro g rin soa ir the e ow Airbnb science early on. years!) to utilising data histicated big data scale requires more sop ge lar a h suc at g tin Opera el of the business. t decisions at every lev rec cor ke ma lp he to science la Amatil Australia, ta scientist at Coca-Co da d lea , gh avo Taf k Siama s evolve firsthand. has watched this proces I started here, there ,” he explains. “When me for y rne jou a en be “It’s g so fast. IT always . Data science is evolvin ies ilit ab cap ta da big were no and always know the d on top of technology, an ted da up be to you needs .” needs of the business ghs in some of the ble for big break throu nsi po res o als is ta da Big Director of the Monash h issues. Geoff Webb, alt he al tic cri st mo ’s world the first ever Eureka Science, and winner of ta Da for e ntr Ce ty rsi Unive analy tics to predict the ta Science, uses data Da in ce len cel Ex for Prize cells. functions of proteins in cancer, as well ng new tests for breast ati cre is ch ear res is “Th eye disease], cular degeneration [an ma g tin iga est inv s die as stu ds for drug es, and improved metho potential cancer vaccin discovery,” Geoff says. bal stats s across national or glo Analysing huge data set nds, opening the tre h on to indicate healt ati orm inf gh ou en es provid ries like cancer. r greatest health myste ou g din an rst de un to door cisions CRC, who scientist at Data to De ta da a is rne bo Os nt Gra sector. “Businesses alia’s national security str Au ist ass to ta da use big g data has; and nary value that analysin rdi rao ext the ng lisi are rea oss almost any business problems acr how it can solve many za Brockwell industry,” he says. – Eli

University of Queensland

Pushing the envelope Vivian Chan credits the supportive atmosphere of her uni in helping her become a successful entrepreneur

vivian chan, CEO


really only have happy memories of my time at UQ,” says “What was particularly good was being trained to push Vivian Chan, a University of Queensland (UQ) Bachelor of yourself out of your comfort zone, and encouraged to network Biotechnology graduate. “The campus is spacious and sunny, and build a portfolio outside of academia,” she says. “My first with lots of greenery, and the food is ahead of its time: there networking event was terrifying, but I learnt quickly!” was bubble tea when I was there!” One of the top-ranking universities in Australia, UQ offers a Vivian credits UQ with teaching her how to be independent wealth of degree options taught by top academics and business and to have faith in her ideas – qualities that have helped her leaders, and many opportunities to combine a love of science become the successful entrepreneur she is today. with skills in data. These courses could prepare you for a career “From there, my experience grew, with exposure in research, science communication, big business or, like Vivian, to the world of venture capital, and opportunities tech entrepreneurship. to do further research and work with other And the best thing is that whatever path you choose, scientists to explore entrepreneurship,” UQ is ready to support you, from advanced study Bachelor of Biotech & she says. programs and career and industry mentoring to (Drug Design Development), UQ As CEO and co-founder of Sparrho practical placements in cutting-edge companies – a scientific discovery search engine and international study tours. combining human and artificial “I recently returned to UQ to give a talk and intelligence to help everyone access the learnt about the incubator spaces they now science important to them – Vivian also provide for budding entrepreneurs,” says Vivian. PhD in Biochemistry, UK , University of Cambridge uses many skills she learnt during her “It’s great to see how that support system is time at UQ. growing.” – Ben Skuse


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ALEX post

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Materials scientist: $55k–$120k* Small business owner: $80k Senior consultant (energy): $73k–$150k Energy engineer: $54k–$90k


ou may have made up your mind that you’ll study science, but have you considered where it could take you? University of Newcastle PhD student Alex Post never imagined he’d be liaising with venture capitalists and chatting about energy storage solutions until he joined a start-up accelerator. “The most rewarding part has been seeing that energy companies are interested,” says Alex, a solar thermal energy researcher. If you’d love to use your scientific know-how to solve an immediate problem, combining science with entrepreneurship just might be your perfect career move. Start-ups and small businesses are ideally placed to identify a problem they’re passionate about fixing, then research and develop an innovative solution. Want to save lives? Check out BCAL Diagnostics, which is in the process of commercialising a blood test for breast cancer screening. Perhaps you want to ensure the world’s population has access to adequate food supplies – start-ups such as AgriLedger support and empower networks of farmers in developing countries. To work for a start-up, you’ll need to be inventive and passionate. You can also become an entrepreneur while still working in research, by connecting with industry partners (see Noushin Nasiri’s story on p19). Looking to start your own company? The CSIRO-powered ON Prime program aims to turn technologies developed through research into start-ups. Alex calls it “a crash course in how to commercialise research: it’s forced me to improve my communication skills!”. His team is now developing an inexpensive and renewable energy storage solution for power providers, and through ON Prime they’ve learnt how to pitch the technology to investors and get their product to market. No matter which path you take, there are many ways to merge science and business to make the world a better place. – Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

*Salaries according to

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Create custom 3D printed designs:

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WAGE A WAR ON WASTE The world is on the look out for ways to reduce plastic in our oceans, reuse items thrown into kerbside bins and minimise food waste.

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Breathe easy

A smartphone sensor that can detect diseases is just around the corner


Noushin nasiri



Bachelor and Masters of Materials Engineering, University of Tehran, Ira n

hen Noushin Nasiri was a kid, she thought becoming a medical doctor was the onl y way to be a hero. There was one small problem though: she can’t stand the sight of blood! But Noushin, now a materials eng ineer and postdoctoral resear cher at UTS, has the ability to sav e lives another way – via tec hno logy. Noushin fabricates tiny, nan osized sensors that can det ect diseases (such as liver and kidney diseases, and even diab etes and cancer) simply from you r breath. In the future, she pla ns for the sensors to be mount ed in smartphones, transfo rming them into mobile breathalys ers. “It’s a non-invasive alternative to blood tests, which can be painful, expensive and time-c onsuming”, she says. On a mission to commercia lise her research, Noushin has been spreading the word about her lab’s exciting new developm ent s at various industry events and competitions, such as Three Min ute Thesis and FameLab. Four companies who produc e medical devices have alre ady approached Noushin to inve st in her research. As the device gets closer to commercialisation, Noushin is getting closer to achieving her dream of using science to imp rove the quality of people’s lives. – Larissa Fedunik-Hoffman PhD (Materials Engineering), ANU


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Uts

{Careers with Science} ee r a c t a s ee r eg d em browse 1000 st

Do Science + ... Here are some of the Bachelor degrees in Science. Search online for TAFE options get immediate skills graduate diplomas

Australian National University >>> Science Communication Curtin University >>> Food Science and Technology Flinders University >>> Nanotechnology University of Queensland >>> Graduate Certificate in Agribusiness University of South Australia >>> Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science University of Southern Queensland >>> Science (Physics and Astronomy) University of Sydney >>> Brain and Mind Sciences University of Tasmania >>> Graduate Diploma of Marine and Antarctic Science University of Western Australia >>> Science Communication

solvE global problems

agriculture, food science, sustainability... Australian National University >>> Genetics (Hons) >>> Environment and Sustainability Advanced (Hons) >>> Philosophy/Science Charles Sturt University >>> Clinical Science >>> Science (Plant Science) >>> Viticulture >>> Wine Science CQ University Australia >>> Agriculture Edith Cowan University >>> Sustainability La Trobe University >>> Agricultural Science Macquarie University >>> Clinical Science

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Monash University >>> Science Advanced â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Global Challenges Murdoch University >>> Science (Crop and Pasture Science) RMIT University >>> Science (Food Technology and Nutrition) University of Melbourne >>> Science (Physics) University of Newcastle >>> Food Science and Human Nutrition >>> Science (Photonics) University of New England >>> Agriculture >>> Agribusiness >>> Rural Science University of Queensland >>> Agribusiness/Sustainable Agriculture University of South Australia >>> Sustainable Environments University of Sydney >>> Advanced Studies (Food and Agribusiness) >>> Science in Agriculture University of Tasmania >>> Agricultural Science University of Western Australia >>> Science (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) UNSW Sydney >>> Food Science and Technology Western Sydney University >>> Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security


communication, teaching, arts, music... Australian National University >>> Science/Master of Teaching Curtin University >>> Science/Arts Deakin University >>> Teaching (Science)/Science Edith Cowan University >>> Arts/Science Federation University Australia

>>> Science/Education La Trobe University >>> Psychological Science Macquarie University >>> Science/Education (Secondary) Monash University >>> Science and Arts >>> Science and Music University of Adelaide >>> Arts/Science University of Newcastle >>> Arts/Science University of Notre Dame >>> Counselling/Behavioural Science >>> Education (Early Childhood & Care)/Behavioural Science University of Queensland >>> Music/Science >>> Science/Education University of Southern Queensland >>> Arts/Science University of Sydney >>> Science/Arts University of Tasmania >>> Science/Arts UNSW Sydney >>> Music/Science >>> Science/Education (Secondary) Victoria University >>> Science (Science For Teaching) Western Sydney University >>> Science/Arts

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conservation, marine science, astronomy... Australian National University >>> Resource and Environmental Management >>> Science (Forest Sciences) Charles Darwin University >>> Environmental Science Charles Sturt University >>> Environmental Science and Management CQ University Australia


>>> Environmental Science Curtin University >>> Applied Geology and Environmental Biology Federation University Australia >>> Environmental and Conservation Science >>> Veterinary and Wildlife Science Griffith University >>> Urban and Environmental Planning/Science James Cook University >>> Science (Aquaculture Science and Technology) >>> Advanced Science (Earth Science) La Trobe University >>> Science (Botany) >>> Science (Zoology) Macquarie University >>> Biodiversity and Conservation >>> Science (Astronomy and Astrophysics) Murdoch University >>> Environmental Science QUT >>> Science (Chemistry) >>> Science (Earth Science) Southern Cross University >>> Forest Science and Management Swinburne University >>> Science (Environmental Science) University of Adelaide >>> Science (Space Science and Astrophysics) University of Melbourne >>> Science (Climate and Weather) >>> Science (Environmental Science) University of Newcastle >>> Environmental Science and Management University of Tasmania >>> Marine and Antarctic Science >>> Natural Environment and Wilderness Studies >>> Science/Economics

>>> Surveying and Spatial Science University of Technology Sydney >>> Environmental Biology >>> Science/International Studies University of the Sunshine Coast >>> Environmental Management University of Western Australia >>> Science (Natural Resource Management) UNSW Sydney >>> Environmental Management >>> Science (International) Western Sydney University >>> Science/International Studies

be a leader

law, business, policy... Australian Catholic University >>> Biomedical Science/ Business Administration >>> Exercise Science/Business Administration Bond University >>> Actuarial Science >>> Biomedical Science/Laws Deakin University

>>> Commerce/Science >>> Forensic Science/ Criminology Edith Cowan University >>> Counter Terrorism Security and Intelligence >>> Forensic Investigation >>> Science/Business Flinders University >>> Science Policy and Communication Griffith University >>> Exercise Science/Business >>> Laws/Science in Environment >>> Psychological Science/ Criminology and Criminal Justice Macquarie University >>> Information Technology/ Laws Monash University >>> Commerce and Biomedical Science >>> Commerce Specialist and Science >>> Laws (Hons)/Science >>> Science Advanced (Research) QUT >>> Business/Mathematics >>> Science/Business RMIT University >>> Applied Science (Aviation)/ Business (Management)

Issue 1, 2018. Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of degree names at the time of publication. This is by no means an exhaustive list; there are plenty of other degrees available. Search 1000 degrees in science, tech, engineering and maths at Careers with STEM issue 1 2018 is a publication of Refraction Media. Copyright Š 2018 Refraction Media, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner or form without written permission. If you would like to reproduce anything from this magazine, email: info@ This issue went to press in February 2018. Printed in Australia by BlueStar Web. Subscribe and order copies:

>>> Science (Applied Science)/ Business University of Canberra >>> Politics and International Relations/Science (Psychology) University of New England >>> Business/Laws University of Queensland >>> Economics/Science University of Southern Queensland >>> Commerce/Science University of Technology Sydney >>> Medical Science/Business UNSW Sydney >>> Economics/Science >>> Science and Business


computer science, data science, nanotech... Australian National University >>> Engineering (Hons) (Biomedical Systems) Charles Darwin University >>> Engineering Science Flinders University >>> Science (Nanotechnology) Murdoch University >>> Science (Internetworking and Network Security) RMIT University >>> Science (Nanotechnology)/

Cover images by: Tina Smigielski; Ben Ashmole Produced & published by Refraction Media CEO and Publisher: Karen Taylor-Brown Head of Content: Heather Catchpole Production Editor: John Roper Digital Producer: Eliza Brockwell Partnerships Manager: Natalie Rayment Publishing Intern: Reinaldi Lasmana Art Director: Lucy Glover Sub-editor: Ewan Corness Proofreader: Kath Kovac Editorial Intern: Larissa Fedunik-Hofman


Science (Applied Sciences) University of Canberra >>> Sport and Exercise Science/ Information Technology University of Melbourne >>> Science (Biotechnology) >>> Science (Computational Biology) University of Queensland >>> Biotechnology (Hons) (Nanotechnology) University of South Australia >>> Science (Nano- and Biomaterials) University of Sydney >>> Science (Nanoscience and Technology) University of Tasmania >>> Biotechnology University of Technology Sydney >>> Biomedical Physics/ Creative Intelligence and Innovation >>> Science/Creative Intelligence and Innovation University of Western Australia >>> Bionanotechnology (Hons) >>> Science (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) UNSW Sydney >>> Bachelor of Nanoscience

Writers: Eliza Brockwell; Gemma Conroy; Larissa Fedunik-Hofman; Brendan Fitzpatrick; Jesse Hawley; Fran Molloy; Penny Pryor; Chloe Walker. EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING OFFICES: 100 Harris Street, Pyrmont, Sydney, Australia Email: Advertising enquiries: contact Karen Taylor-Brown at or +612 9188 5459 Postal address: PO Box 38, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 Sydney, Australia ISSN 2209-1068 Web edition + more:

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Careers with STEM: Science 2018  

Download the latest issue of Careers with STEM to find out about careers where you can save the planet, deep dive into data, and even create...

Careers with STEM: Science 2018  

Download the latest issue of Careers with STEM to find out about careers where you can save the planet, deep dive into data, and even create...