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Careers that started in science

Science is basically about making discoveries, identifying problems and finding real solutions. Experiencing what it takes to practice the discipline of science provides unique insights that can later be applied in many areas beyond the range of what we normally think of as science. A close involvement in study design, data generation and writing-up for publication provides a very particular spectrum of expertise, whether it be learned from an involvement in cancer research, marine biology, virology, experimental physics, astronomy or whatever. Apart from a long-term career in a particular area of research and development, that type of training with its respect for data and evidence based reality, opens other opportunities in areas where innovative, effective leadership is important. While life as a researcher will obviously be very satisfying for some, the past decades have seen a number of scientists emerge as high-tech business entrepreneurs. Others have been very successful in occupations like investment banking and the public service, and we definitely need more people in politics who have a basic understanding of science. With innovation being an economic driver, society needs lawyers who are scientifically literate, and it can actually help to know something before taking a degree in business management. Apart from that, if you are passionately committed to environmental issues, having a grasp of the underlying science is important when it comes to taking appropriate actions. The same is true for those who are committed to ensuring the sustainability of water resources, arable land, forests and the food supply. And, last but not least, we can never have enough inspired science teachers in our schools. Professor Peter C Doherty AC FAA FRS Nobel Laureate 3 June 2013

3 Professor Peter Doherty graduated from The University of Queensland in Veterinary Science and became a veterinary officer. Moving to Scotland, he received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh Medical School. He is the first person with a veterinary qualification to win a Nobel Prize which he shared with Swiss colleague, Rolf Zinkernagel in 1996 for their discovery of how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells.

Office of the Queensl and Chief Scientist

We need science. It’s part of our lives – all day, every day and everywhere – in the food we eat, clothes we wear, medicine we ingest, money we spend and devices we use. Science is so deeply entrenched in our lives that many people who use the wonders of science do so without thinking, understanding or observing that these products arose from the work of scientists. Science is exciting. It lets you dream, lets you make and test hypotheses, and teaches you to think analytically. Science leads to new ideas, new understandings and new and better applications. Scientists know that we can’t understand everything about the world, but they try anyway because the search is exhilarating. From acoustics to zoology and everything in between, a multitude of today’s jobs require a science background. The rewarding careers profiled in this book demonstrate the huge range of jobs available in science. In fact, over the past decade, the number of Queenslanders employed in occupations related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics has increased by 106,000, and the demand for these skills is likely to continue. Today’s science students will need to tackle tomorrow’s problems – and they will be significant – but with a strong foundation of scientific knowledge I know we will be in good stead. Whatever career path you choose in science, I wish you all the best. Dr Geoff Garrett AO Queensland Chief Scientist Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist Queensland Government




Why study science?

A science degree equips you to have a fulfilling career and maximise opportunities in your chosen field of endeavour. Science qualifications are your springboard to a new world of career opportunities. Training in science opens the doors to an array of occupations you may have not considered. A solid science background can lead you on a career path into research, teaching, industry and business, government, consulting, project management‌ the potential is almost endless. This book shows you the pathways that many of UQ’s science graduates have taken in fields including chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, biochemistry, biomedical science, ecology, genetics, geographical, geological, marine and environmental sciences, psychology and statistics. The scientists profiled here have used their qualifications as a stepping stone to catapult them into exciting and diverse roles across the globe that are financially rewarding. For some, it is fulfilling a dream, while others have embarked on a journey into senior management and leadership.

A high proportion of well-paid government, business and industry leaders globally have science qualifications. A science degree has many benefits because you can use your skills and training to make a difference in the global challenges that confront us in the 21st century. Reducing the impacts of climate change, curing illnesses, advancing economic policy, developing new, life-saving drugs, protecting the environment, exploring space frontiers – all goals are achievable with a strong base of scientific knowledge as the starting point. UQ Science graduates are in demand because the structure of the programs they study gives them a broad range of skills across diverse disciplines and the ability to specialise in the majors or dual majors of their choice. This book demonstrates the human face of science. Put your face here too.


Making decisions about your career

The primary aim of “Careers that started in Science” is to inspire and reveal to you the broad range of opportunities available both within science and many other industries. There are two key steps in focussing on a career: 1. Defining your interests and 2. Talking to people for further advice and direction The career profiles showcase real examples of UQ graduates at different stages of their careers. Each profile presented includes a salary range for the current job, the qualifications of each person and a snapshot of their career path. Salary ranges were sourced from CareerOne, Seek, Graduate Destination Survey and our graduates themselves. What interests you and what are you good at? There can be a difference between what really interests you and what you are good at. If science is what really interests you, then follow this path. Remember however that science can be combined with other disciplines, such as business, law, communication, sales, marketing and commerce. This means that you can be in an industry that really interests you and using the skills that you are good at. If you like science then continue with it in your final years of high school.


When thinking about which course to take at university, identify which subjects interest you and take a course that meets those interests. A science degree allows you to follow your interests into more specialised areas in second and third year. Define your interests first – not a profession Defining your interests is a continual process. Don’t feel pressured to define yourself professionally too early if you’re not sure what you want to be. It is more important to define your interests than your profession. Talk to as many people as you can in those areas, then investigate all your options before making study or career decisions. Start by making a list of topics that interest you. Keep adding to the list as you progress in your high school studies. This will help you redefine potential careers as your interests mature or change.



Leigh uses her communications skills to create healthier waterways for Queensland. Successfully communicating with scientists and the community to improve water quality outcomes for Queensland waterways provides immense job satisfaction for Leigh Bennett each day.

Leigh Bennett Senior Policy Officer Healthy Waters Unit Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Queensland Government UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Environmental Science (Ecology) with Honours 2008 SALARY RANGE Minimum $62 000 Maximum $107 000 Average $79 500

As a Senior Policy Officer within the Healthy Waters Policy unit of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Leigh liaises with internal and external stakeholders to develop water quality guidelines which will ultimately improve the health of local waterways throughout the state. Her role relies heavily on her ability to listen and communicate clearly and Leigh attributes her success in the position to the skills she gained while completing her Honours project. “The need to properly communicate the key findings of scientific research to the community and management is a really important part of environmental science,” she said. “Through my Honours project I developed an understanding of how to translate what was going on outdoors or in the lab, into a context that most audiences would be able to understand.” Since graduating from UQ, Leigh has worked for a number of employers and gained valuable experience. “I was responsible for reporting on the BHP Billiton Artesian Spring Invertebrate Monitoring Program in South Australia. Some species of invertebrates, including snails, are found only in specific artesian springs,” she said. “They are perfect indicators for detecting changes in the environment. I analysed samples of invertebrates from different sites to examine the potential impacts of water extraction.” “This was a really exciting project where I could directly apply the skills that I learnt at UQ to produce an environmental report for a leading company.” Leigh enjoys being able to move seamlessly between the office and the laboratory and the diverse opportunities that come with her job.


“I’d encourage all students to consider a career in environmental science if they have an interest in the world around them. It can be a tough and sometimes dirty job, but it’s worth it,” she said.


INFLUENCING POLITICAL DECISIONS WITH scientific advice IS A CAREER HIGHLIGHT FOR STEFAN. A passion for the environment and a successful career in research has led Stefan Klose around the world and now into the political arena. As a Scientific Advisor to the Federal Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Stefan is based in the former German capital of Bonn and provides scientific advice to the Minister and the German Government on policy decisions which affect the environment. Through his work he travels frequently to Brussels and Berlin, and enjoys the diversity of challenges he encounters. “It is critical to explain science to politicians in a way that simplifies the very complex issues and enables them to fight for the environment using the best scientific knowledge,” he said. Stefan’s career began with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology at UQ. He transferred from a university in his home country of Germany in order to develop his language skills, study a range of exciting ecosystems not found in Europe, such as reefs, rainforests and deserts, and immerse himself in the Australian culture. UQ’s range of courses, reputation and location within the sunny subtropics made the choice easy for Stefan. He found that the Bachelor of Science program gave him the flexibility to follow his interests and develop the skills he needed to support his career goals. “My UQ degree laid the foundations to help me understand how people and ecosystems interact in a global context,” he said. “This was an important step in my personal and academic development, as well as an important addition to my CV and personal network. It certainly contributed to my success in securing my current role as a Scientific Advisor.” Stefan also completed a Masters and PhD in Ecology at Ulm University in Germany, with co-supervisors from The University of Queensland and Cambridge University in the UK. He conducted his field work in Panama and Australia and received two Australian Government Endeavour Awards for his research on flying-foxes in northern New South Wales. On completing his PhD, Stefan worked for the Global Environmental and Consumer Safety branch of the world’s largest chemical company, the Germany-based BASF, assessing agricultural product risks to wildlife.

Stefan Klose Scientific Advisor German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety UQ Qualifications BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (ZOOLOGY) 2002 SALARY RANGE Minimum $45 000 Maximum $55 000 Average $50 000

He then moved to West Africa to coordinate a German Research Foundation (DFG) research program into diseases transmitted to humans by animals. While Stefan’s career has been shaped by a number of unique experiences, assisting politicians to make better decisions about the environment with his scientific advice is still the highlight. “I have written texts and provided environmental assessments which have decisively shaped and become part of legal documents, and have contributed to European-level political decisions and implementations through National Action Plans,” he said.


Career in mathematics an optimal choice

Eleanor’s expertise in modeling and planning brings efficiencies to the surface for major brands. Using the latest mathematical modeling and optimisation techniques, Eleanor Foxcroft provides cutting edge solutions to businesses to increase their efficiency and profitability. As part of the team at Biarri Commercial Mathematics, she uses her knowledge to help numerous clients make improved decisions and solve complex business problems. Since graduating in 2011, Eleanor has worked with Schweppes Australia as a client, to optimise existing beverage delivery routes using a software tool developed by Biarri. “The orders that need to be satisfied change every day. Each day presents a new challenge to come up with routes that are robust, close to the actual optimal solution but which also consider driver preferences,” she said. “Overall the planning process has been completely overhauled, resulting in the need for fewer vehicles travelling lower kilometres.”

Eleanor Foxcroft

“I love building models that make clients happy and developing good software can be incredibly satisfying.”

Optimisation Consultant Biarri Commercial Mathematics

Eleanor enjoyed the flexibility of her Bachelor of Science program because it enabled her to try a diverse range of subject areas while also providing a great preparation in operations research.

UQ Qualifications Honours (Mathematics) 2011 Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) 2010 Salary Minimum $50 000 Maximum $150 000 Average $80 000

“The courses offered at UQ provided an excellent introduction to relevant problems and different solution techniques which are very applicable in my role” Eleanor also credits her current position to the strong links which UQ has with the company. “My Honours supervisor had strong ties with Biarri and suggested I apply for a casual position while I was still studying and from there I was made a permanent staff member,” she said. “Biarri has hired a number of UQ graduates and the success of those employees has ensured that UQ qualifications are highly valued.” Eleanor has proved that mathematics is a fresh, exciting and innovative discipline that can be applied in a business context, and not just in the classroom or an engineer’s office.


She plans to continue in a technical role, but in five years hopes to be leading major projects and complete a PhD in the field. “I am really excited to continue learning in my job. This field is constantly evolving so there are always opportunities to learn, which keeps things very interesting,” she said.

Looking out for our pets

Catherine is exploring how vets can protect animals from domestic violence. While studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Catherine Tiplady worked part-time as a vet nurse, an animal attendant and had also been actively involved with the RSPCA as a volunteer foster carer and call centre worker. After graduating as a veterinarian and performing various surgical procedures, administering pain relief, undertaking diagnostic tests and caring for hospitalised animals, the daily contact with patients and their owners made a lasting impact. “Consultations were a large part of my work and it was good to see evidence of a positive emotional bond between people and pets,” she said. “However, it can be both distressing and confronting for practice staff when cases of animal abuse and neglect are presented.” Returning to UQ to study a PhD, Catherine has used this opportunity to examine the negative outcomes of pet ownership and find ways to address these. “As part of my study I am combining the two topics of domestic violence and animal abuse to see how people and animals are affected by violence and, importantly, how vets can help,” she said. “Anecdotal reports suggest that dogs from violent homes are more traumatised and fearful and I want to examine statistically if that is true.”

Catherine Tiplady PhD Candidate Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics UQ School of Veterinary Science UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Studies) 2009 Bachelor of Veterinary Science 2008 SALARY RANGE PhD Scholarships available – please check with UQ for details

Catherine also believes that as part of the domestic violence cycle, pets are often hurt or threatened as a way of controlling the abused partner. The combination of both veterinary and social sciences makes her research unique and in 2012 she was a recipient of one of only four scholarships offered by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to learn about veterinary forensics. She hopes to create protocols for the treatment of traumatised pets and assist vets to recognise the signs of trauma, and has collaborated with world renowned experts to write a book on this topic which was published in 2013. During her time at UQ, Catherine also participated in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition where she was required to explain her research in just three minutes. “Making it to the UQ 3MT finals was a huge achievement for me as I was quite nervous about speaking in public,” she said. “The competition helped me gain confidence in presenting my research to a large and diverse audience.”


Mapping successful solutions

Chiara hopes to settle future planning disputes out of the courts. A love for geography and legal studies during high school, combined with the urge to pursue a career with a difference, was all the inspiration Chiara Wood needed to study a Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning and a Bachelor of Laws at UQ. As the Senior Legal Officer at the Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Chiara is always seeking the best solutions for her community.

Chiara Wood

She provides advice to the Minister, Director-General and other departments on planning development law, projects and infrastructure and also advises on amendments to legislation administered by the department.

Senior Legal Officer Department of State Development Infrastructure and Planning Queensland Government

“I work in the planning law team of the Legal Services division and my Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning definitely helped me to secure this job, as a good understanding of the planning system is required,” she said.

UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Laws 2007 Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning (Honours) 2003 SALARY RANGE Minimum $58 008 Maximum $140 000 Average $90 620

Chiara believes the most satisfying aspect of her work is being able to have her say on legislation on a daily basis and have her decisions help shape the future of planning in Queensland. “I review amendments to existing legislation to see if they are legally viable and I review entirely new pieces of legislation or subordinate legislation,” she said. “Most pieces of legislation are around for at least five years, so in the future I will be able to say that I had some input into that Act or that regulation which had an impact on directing the planning industry.” Chiara graduated with Honours from the Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning in 2003 and then continued her studies for a further three years to complete a degree in law, creating a customised “dual degree” program. “The ability to take planning subjects as electives within my law degree gave me the flexibility to tackle both fields,” she said. She was able to commence her professional career even while at university by having one of her essays published as an article in the Queensland Planner.


In her busy schedule Chiara still manages to find time to tutor at UQ in a course on regulatory frameworks for environmental management and planning, passing her knowledge and experience to the next generation of graduates. Chiara hopes to continue to work in the field of environmental and planning law and branch out to alternative dispute resolution, or work as a mediator in the Planning and Environment Court.

Protecting the world all in a day’s work

Preventing the transmission of animal diseases to humans is Andrew’s prime goal. Fruit bats, Avian Influenza and protecting the world from diseases transmitted by animals are all part of Andrew Breed’s job as a Veterinary Epidemiologist. Andrew started his career as a veterinarian, working in private practices and zoos around Australia and the UK after completing his veterinary degree at Murdoch University. While working, he completed a Master of Science in Wild Animal Health at the Zoological Society of London, collaborating with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries to develop a test for the detection of Hendra virus antibodies. Andrew decided to return to study full time to complete his PhD at The University of Queensland. He wanted to gain a more active involvement in science and research projects and contribute to the study of wildlife diseases. He chose UQ for the opportunity to work with a unique team of people on an exciting area, with support from the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre. “I really enjoyed the opportunities presented by my PhD to collaborate with scientists and animal health officers from around the world and share knowledge and skills,” he said. “One of the highlights of my project was carrying out fieldwork in remote parts of Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia.” On completion of his PhD Andrew moved to the UK to work in his current role with the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. In this role he manages projects in national and international veterinary public health, writes scientific research reports, and is on call for outbreaks of notifiable disease in the UK.

Andrew Breed Veterinary Epidemiologist Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency United Kingdom UQ Qualifications PhD (Veterinary Science) 2013 SALARY RANGE Minimum 35 000 GBP£ Maximum 57 000 GBP£ (British Pound)

Andrew recently spent time in Cyprus, capturing fruit bats that were roosting in caves to test for emerging zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential such as coronaviruses (SARS and MERS) and filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg). “My PhD at UQ allowed me to work with world leaders in my field who supported and encouraged me to seek opportunities and gain recognition for my work,” he said. “I now work with a range of teams to improve animal and human health and increase understanding of wildlife diseases.” “I enjoy doing work which provides evidence for government policy and improves understanding of disease transmission among animals and humans in order to prevent outbreaks.”


Growing rural economies a prime role

Tiffany connects with rural Australians to help them grow their businesses. A strong connection to rural Australia, combined with a solid understanding of Animal Production, has steered Tiffany Jorgensen to her current role as the Rural Manager of Rabobank Dalby. She manages and grows the bank’s lending portfolio in the rural sector, travelling across the Darling Downs to assist clients with their banking needs. “The best thing about my job is that I am working with rural Australians every day, whether I am lending money or discussing the current seasonal conditions,” she said. “I am privileged to work with such wonderful people and it is the fantastic spirits and personalities of the client base that keeps me wanting more.” Tiffany was offered her first job before she completed the final semester of her Bachelor of Applied Science at UQ.

Tiffany Jorgensen Rural Manager Rabobank Dalby UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Production) 2006 SALARY Minimum $56 000 Maximum $170 000 Average $92 889

She started as a management trainee for AMH (now Swift Australia) in the feedlot operations at Caroona in New South Wales. “The UQ name has a strong reputation within the rural industry which put me in a strong position when applying for jobs. AMH had employed a number of UQ graduates in the past, knowing they possessed the necessary skills and attributes to suit the company,” she said. Tiffany enjoyed the hands-on practical experience and industry connections that her program at UQ offered. Working with lecturers who were actively involved in the fields they taught was also a highlight. The diverse set of skills Tiffany gained in her program contributed to her success in her first job with AMH, and those that followed. After AMH, Tiffany moved into the cadetship program at Landmark, gaining experience in all facets of the business over 12 months. She contributed to the development of the Landmark Classic horse sale, and was able to watch the event grow. Her experiences provided a solid foundation for her move to Rabobank, and within four years she was promoted to her current position as Rural Manager.


“My time spent a UQ provided me with a diverse set of skills that are easily adapted to any situation,” she said. “There is always some piece of information that I can draw on, which may have seemed insignificant at the time, that helps me to understand and connect with my clients.”


Managing exploration operations for a multinational mining company is a natural fit for Duncan. For Duncan Scott, geology field trips were the best part of his Bachelor of Science at UQ. Now, as a Principal Geologist with Vale Exploration, he organises and manages field exploration operations. Duncan completed a dual Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Science program, majoring in Geology and Earth Science. Duncan has never had trouble finding work in his chosen field. In his final year of study, he gained industry experience by working part-time in two different jobs. When he finished studying he continued in both roles working four days a week in a geological consultancy, performing data processing and quality checking, and one day per week with Queensland Transport, working on transport economic analysis. Before securing his current role with Vale, Duncan worked as a Geophysics Processing Coordinator for G-tek and as an Underground Production Geologist at the North Goonyella Mine, plus various other exploration roles for BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance. “Since I started working at the age of 15, the longest I’ve been unemployed is two weeks,” he said. “During those two weeks a Geologist I studied with at UQ assisted me in finding a job with G-tek where I was detecting unexploded ordinance on military sites using magnetics.” “Detecting weapons buried underground was certainly an exciting and different experience for a geologist!” As part of his current role, he develops mine feasibility studies and ensures that work is carried out safely on site and exploration data is collected and managed appropriately. “The broad range of skills I gained in my dual degree at UQ have helped me to adapt to change and manage multiple tasks,” he said.

Duncan Scott Principal Geologist and Site Senior Executive Vale Exploration UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Geology and Earth Sciences) 2003 Bachelor of Economics 2003 SALARY RANGE Minimum $130 000 Maximum $190 000 Average $150 000

Recently, Duncan has been studying mining methods in China, Germany and Russia for suitability in difficult mining environments in Australia. “Studying Economics alongside Science gave me extra skills that I have used in project budgeting and mine feasibility studies. Studying at UQ provided the foundation for the rest of my career,” he said. He enjoys the variety of his work which includes developing creative solutions and successfully coordinating and completing projects.



Carmel’s research will improve the quality of commercial pearl production and potentially lead to outcomes in human health. Discovering how to grow the perfect pearl for industry is just one part of Carmel McDougall’s research.

Carmel McDougall Postdoctoral Fellow School of Biological Sciences The University of Queensland UQ Qualifications HONOURS (ZOOLOGY) 2003 BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (MARINE BIOLOGY AND GENETICS) 2002 SALARY RANGE Minimum $60 000 Maximum $90 000 Average $70 000

While working on pearl boats and visiting the Great Barrier Reef are part of her industry-focussed project, contributing to knowledge on human bone growth is part of a wider research agenda. Carmel is a geneticist and marine biologist, working at The University of Queensland. She studied Zoology and Genetics during her Bachelor of Science with Honours at UQ, and was awarded a scholarship to Oxford University to do a PhD. Immediately after finishing her PhD, Carmel was offered a job at UQ. She heard about the position through her UQ contacts. “Studying at UQ, and then going to Oxford, gave me a real competitive edge to continue my scientific career,” she said. “In my program at UQ I particularly enjoyed being able to specialise into smaller classes and be taught by some of the best scientists in their fields.” In her industry project, Carmel is currently researching the genetics of shell formation in pearl oysters. The aim of the project is to develop ways to improve pearl quality, but this research goes beyond a perfect pearl. “Pearl shells are very different to human bone, but some of the processes and genes which produce these structures are surprisingly similar,” she said. “Some of the mollusc genes I research can be used to promote human bone growth in the laboratory.” Some of the genes Carmel studies are also being investigated in nanotechnology and materials science for their ability to control the shape of microscopic structures.


Comparing the mollusc genes to similar genes in other animals also provides an understanding of how bone and shell forming structures have evolved. Carmel finds her role very rewarding. “I really enjoy the opportunities to travel to exotic locations to obtain specimens and the challenging nature of scientific research.”

Sights set on global sustainabilit y

Studying at UQ connected Jorge with world leaders. Making the move from Mexico to Australia to study was a big decision for Jorge Acevedo, but one that has enabled him to pursue his passion for a more sustainable environment. After considering many programs in Canada, the USA and Latin America, Jorge embraced the opportunity to study Down Under. “Australia is globally recognised for its environmental leadership,” he said. “I chose The University of Queensland because it offered the best courses in carbon management and sustainability business practice.” In his final semester Jorge completed a research project in conjunction with UQ’s Sustainable Management Alliance in Research and Training (SMART) program on blue carbon opportunities in Mexico. He was then selected to promote the benefits of blue carbon projects at the United Nations Convention of Climate Change (UNCCC – COP 16) in Cancun. “The experience provided me with the opportunity to see and hear from great personalities in climate science, such as Nobel Prize winner Dr Mario Molina, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Pachauri and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon” he said. “As a participant I was able to make contact with leading Non-Government Organisations such as Wetlands International, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, CDM Watch, and several others.”

Jorge Acevedo Environmental Scientist CDM Smith UQ Qualifications Master of Environmental Management 2010 SALARY RANGE Minimum $60 000 Maximum $200 000 Average $124 449

Since graduating from UQ, Jorge has found employment at a consultancy firm in Brisbane. “I am an Environmental Scientist for CDM Smith which is a global environmental and engineering consultancy,” he said. In this sustainability role Jorge provides a range of environmental services, contaminated land solutions and engineering strategies for his clients In the long term, Jorge hopes to work with parent company, CDM Smith, on large overseas projects.


Knowledge brings empowerment

Rural communities in Guyana share in Akilah’s vision for development. While working with economically vulnerable men, women and children in rural Guyana, Akilah Dorris imagined the difference a development planning and management strategy could make to the people in these communities. Realising that she needed to equip herself with more advanced knowledge and skills to help the communities, Akilah enrolled in a Master of Rural Systems Management. “Rural development is a fairly new field of work and study within my country, therefore I wanted to gain additional skills, knowledge and experiences and bring those back to Guyana to incorporate them into my work,” she said. While finding the program challenging, Akilah balanced her studies with extra-curricular activities such as volunteering with student associations and off campus community groups. As part of her research project, Akilah attended an international congress in Beijing, China.

Akilah Dorris Community Monitoring and Development Officer Ministry of Local Government & Regional Development, Guyana UQ Qualifications Master of Rural Systems Management 2012 SALARY RANGE Minimum $30 000 Maximum $180 000 Average $86 838

Akilah now works for the Ministry of Local Government & Regional Development as the Community Monitoring & Development Officer, planning and implementing initiatives for the socio-economic development of rural communities. “My role specifically has to do with planning, monitoring and implementing regional development plans and conducting research on developmental issues within the ten regions of Guyana,” she said. “I have the opportunity to travel and explore my entire country as 70% of the population is dispersed throughout the rural and regional areas.” “The Master of Rural Systems Management Program has certainly complemented my role within the Ministry. Though Australia and Guyana are vastly different, I can apply what the courses offered in a practical sense.” “Studying at UQ is one of the most prestigious opportunities you can have and the quality of work by the staff is remarkable.”



Caroline assists with the transition of new scientific technologies into private industry. Working with new and different scientific technologies is Caroline Chan’s favourite part of her job. After completing her PhD at The University of Queensland, Caroline returned home to Singapore to work as a Technical Support and Application Specialist with QIAGEN, a company which produces molecular research products. As part of this position she was involved in customer training and helped solve any technical difficulties that customers encountered while using the company’s products. “I have found the transition from a research laboratory to a commercial company very interesting,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed learning how companies are run and learning about the scientific products they produce.”

Caroline Chan

After three years at QIAGEN, Caroline was approached by a recruiter to work at Affymetrix, a company which manufactures DNA microarrays for genomic research.

Field Application Specialist Affymetrix

Genomics is a discipline in genetics that applies recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing methods, and bioinformatics to sequence, assemble and analyse the function and structure of genomes. In her current role, Caroline is a Field Application Specialist at Affymetrix. Her job is to understand the technology and products that the company produces to provide customer support.

UQ Qualifications PhD (Developmental Biology) 2009 SALARY RANGE Minimum 55 000 SGD Maximum 90 000 SGD Average 70 000 SGD (Singapore Dollar)

She conducts on-site product training for customers, attends road shows and visits customers to promote the company’s products or troubleshoot problems. Caroline feels that the critical thinking skills gained during her PhD studies at UQ have particularly helped her advance in her career. “My PhD has equipped me with better problem solving skills and the ability to work independently,” she said. .



Maithili uses maths to improve the commute for public transport users. A family tradition and a love of solving problems led Maithili Mehta into the broad field of Software Engineering. “My father and uncle both have PhDs in Mathematics and I’ve always really enjoyed mathematics,” she said. “It’s been part of my everyday life for as long as I can remember. There are so many people who have done amazing things in mathematics and I knew it was a field I wanted to study and work in.”

Maithili Mehta

Maithili completed a Bachelor of Science at The University of Queensland, studying physics, philosophy and psychology in combination with her mathematics courses.

Senior Software Engineer Jeppesen Australia

She completed Honours in Mathematics and then continued into a PhD.

UQ Qualifications PhD (Mathematics) 2003 Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) with Honours 1997 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 Maximum $120 000

“It tested my ability to innovate and understand complex problems, skills which are highly valued by my employer,” she said. While completing her PhD, Maithili was approached by a company called Opcom and offered a position as a software tester. The company heard about Maithili through a network of PhD students with whom she studied at UQ. The company is now owned by Jeppesen Australia and Maithili has progressed to the position of a Senior Software tester. Her role involves developing new algorithms to solve complex software problems and maintaining current algorithmic code. “I love the challenges and the problem solving,” she said. “You think you’re not going to be able to solve a problem, so you sit and look at it and you think that it’s going to be impossible. Then, all of a sudden, something just clicks and it’s a great feeling. I love that feeling!” One of the most exciting and rewarding career challenges for Maithili was developing algorithms to run journey plans over entire countries.


“There’s a huge amount of data involved in journey planning across an entire country,” she said. “Handling that data, and optimising it so that our software can run efficiently, was a real challenge and really enjoyable” “If you’re considering a career in mathematics or statistics I would advise you to go for it! A career in maths will always provide interesting and varied work.”

Taking the plunge

A love of science and research takes Cameron to new depths. Five years ago, Cameron Schofield and his father identified the need in Australia for infrastructure to support innovative marine science research. Together they made the decision to take on the challenge to rectify this. Today their company, Australian Oceanographics, provides the tools and expertise needed to support critical research into our oceans. “Knowing that I can potentially make a difference to the understanding, health and management of Australia’s marine ecosystems and wildlife is the most exciting and rewarding aspect of my job,” he said. “We work in a leading edge industry that is constantly evolving, which also makes each day more interesting than the last.” Maintaining a comprehensive understanding of submersibles, other oceanographic technologies and their operation is part of Cameron’s role. This element of the business lead him to live and work in Florida for over a year to oversee the major refit, sea trial and pilot training of two single-occupant submersibles. “After completely stripping back and rebuilding the submersibles with improved equipment and software, we tested them from a vessel in the Bahamas and were trained as pilots,” he said. “They only fit a single occupant, so it was quite daunting hopping in for my first dive. But since then, I have been hooked and always look forward to the next opportunity to go for another dive!”

Cameron Schofield Operations Manager Australian Oceanographics UQ Qualifications Honours (Zoology) 2010 Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Zoology) 2009 SALARY RANGE Minimum $40 000 Maximum $120 000

Cameron believes his UQ program was integral to his success as a young entrepreneur. “The interactive learning across a number of disciplines made my program well rounded,” he said. “The demands of a research intensive honours year also helped prove that I was capable of managing several aspects of a project at once.” In the future Cameron hopes to continue to develop and grow the family business, increasing its involvement in exciting and state-of-the-art scientific projects.



A degree in agribusiness is growing Stephanie’s career. For Stephanie Cook, the agricultural sector is where she loves to work, and her UQ Bachelor of Agribusiness is helping her to achieve her career goals. After finishing high school, Stephanie worked for four years in retail and administration for stockfeed and cotton companies, before deciding what she really wanted to do. “It was here I realised that I really wanted to work in agriculture, and that completing an agribusiness degree would be the best way to work my way up in this industry,” she said. She enrolled in a Bachelor of Agribusiness at UQ and thrived in the ‘real-life’ teaching environment. “We often went out of the classroom to farms and agribusinesses, and also to the port,” she said. “Applying what we were learning to real life contexts and actual businesses made it much more interesting, and it showed me how I could use what I was learning.”

Stephanie Cook

A month before finishing her degree, Stephanie was offered a job as a Graduate Farm Marketer with AWB (Cargill), a major marketer of Australian grain and oilseeds.

Graduate Farm Marketer Australian Wheat Board (Cargill)

She met AWB representatives at a UQ careers event and was encouraged to apply for the position.

UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Agribusiness 2012 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 Maximum $64 000

Stephanie’s job involves speaking to growers about prices, creating contracts, estimating supply and demand, finding out about yields and quality, and building relationships with her growers “I use my degree every day!” she said. “It taught me skills in everything from marketing and sales to investment project appraisal. The UQ Agribusiness degree is tailored to equip you for your career, and almost everything I learned has relevance to my work now.” While at UQ, Stephanie was the President of the UQ Gatton Agribusiness Association and established a useful network of friends and colleagues. “I have called them to find out information and learn about their areas, what they’ve planted, what they’re harvesting and how it’s looking,” she said.


“Not only have they been a wealth of information for me, they often put me in contact with their parents, neighbours or an agronomist from the area who can then help me further.” “The networks I have gained from studying at UQ are definitely priceless for me in the agribusiness industry.”

Where art meets science

A love of art and an interest in science combine in Chris’s career. With a background in art, Chris Maddox moved to Australia for a change of scenery and to enjoy the stunning beaches. His postgraduate studies at UQ in Geographical Information Science (GIS) have since brought him a lot closer to the ocean than he expected. Chris is a Senior Geospatial Analyst with Geoimage Pty Ltd and has just completed a project funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) to climate-proof the nation’s seaports. The project aims to enhance the resilience of Australia’s seaports and examined how they might adapt to future climate change. “During the project I was working with researchers at UQ and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to generate spatial GIS data and subsequent 3D visualisations of the infrastructure assets at Port Kembla, Wollongong,” he said. “I have been in my role at Geoimage for nearly three years and I work within a small team consulting on large projects for a range of clients around Australia and Southeast Asia, providing solutions for both marine and terrestrial environments.” “Projects vary from client to client and regularly include environmental, planning, cartographic and remote sensing based work.” Chris developed contacts with highly respected researchers and industry peers while studying at UQ, which he has since found to be useful in his work. Many of his workmates are also UQ graduates.

Chris Maddox Senior Geospatial Analyst Geoimage Pty Ltd Artist and Creative Director StudioSpatial UQ Qualifications Masters of Geographic Information Science 2010 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 Maximum $150 000 Average $80 000

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying at UQ, the knowledge and contacts I gained set me up for a smooth transition to working in the spatial industry.” “My degree prepared me with the Remote Sensing and GIS background theory I needed to transition into a more senior position.” In 2012, Chris launched StudioSpatial, a cutting edge design firm that utilises satellite imagery to create ‘GeoArt’ pieces. Using Landsat satellite (NASA) data sets, he has already created countless artworks for homes and workplaces. “My GeoArt artworks demonstrate the close link between science and art,” he said. “The natural environment has a fantastic wealth of beautiful areas around the globe that we can turn into art for living spaces.”


Breaking the code of success

A love of biology and technology allows Lauren to sequence a successful career. At ten years of age, Lauren Bragg began creating “silly little computer games” inspired by an older brother, who taught her the basics of computer programming. While at high school she also discovered a love of biological science and on considering her university options, decided to find a program that fused these two strong interests together. “Over the past decade, the demand for trained bioinformaticians has grown rapidly as biologists generate larger and more complex datasets,” she said.

Lauren Bragg Research Bioinformatician CSIRO Computational Informatics UQ Qualifications PhD (Bioinformatics) 2013 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 Maximum $140 000 Average $70 000

After completing her Bachelor of Science (Bioinformatics) program at the University of Sydney, Lauren briefly worked as a software developer for a financial research organization called Capital Markets CRC Limited. She then became a bioinformatician at CSIRO and undertook a jointly supervised PhD through CSIRO and the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics (ACE) at UQ. “Having access to world-class research facilities, brilliant academics and cutting-edge technologies were some of the best aspects of my program,” she said. As part of her PhD, Lauren made her mark as an up-andcoming female researcher with the development of new software called Acacia, which finds errors in the DNA code of amplicon sequences produced during gene sequencing. In a simple analogy, the Acacia software works like a “computer spell checker” to automatically detect errors in the sequencing. In May 2012, her discovery was published in the prestigious journal Nature Methods. “It’s exciting to be published in a journal like Nature Methods but I get more satisfaction from hearing how my software is helping biologists fix sequencing errors,” she said. The method, or algorithm, that Acacia uses took 18 months for Lauren to fully develop and test, and she uses it as part of her ongoing research career. Lauren is currently conducting postdoctoral research at CSIRO in the area of metagenomics, where DNA sequencing is applied to diverse communities of microbes, instead of homogeneous cultures, resulting in discoveries of new species, interactions and biochemical functions. “Metagenomics is an exciting but challenging new application of DNA sequencing,” she said.


“If analysing DNA sequences from an individual microbial genome can be considered analagous to solving an individual puzzle, metagenome analysis is like trying to simultaneously solve thousands of different puzzles mixed together, with many of the pieces either shared between puzzles or missing outright.” The outcomes of metagenomic studies often yield exciting results, such as discovery of microbes linked with human disease, or new proteins with exciting industrial applications.


Kieren’s knowledge of the beef industry will strengthen Australia’s position as a leading food producer. Bachelor of Agricultural Science graduate and current PhD student, Kieren McCosker, is part of a new breed of beef cattle researchers. “I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to work on projects such as Cash Cow which examines factors affecting the reproductive performance of beef breeding herds,” he said. “A number of factors have been identified as impacting on reproductive performance of beef cattle and the project aims to quantify the effects they have.” He credits his university studies to his success in conducting the Cash Cow project. “My fourth year research project was my first insight into life as a researcher, so it was an important part of my studies and one of my most memorable experiences at UQ,” he said. Kieren was employed soon after graduation as a Beef Cattle Research Officer for the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries in the Northern Territory. At present, he works with four other Agricultural Science graduates from UQ in the Department where his research abilities have been recognised by his employer and local producers. In 2010 he was recognised as a ‘Young Achiever’ by the North Australia Beef Research Council (NABRC) for his important contribution to the industry and showed that young researchers have the knowledge and practical skills to make a difference to current breeding practices. Kieren encourages all students to make the most of every opportunity while at university.

Kieren McCosker Beef Cattle Research Officer Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries Northern Territory Government UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) 2001 SALARY RANGE Minimum $48 930 Maximum $140 000 Average $85 615

“It gets a lot harder when you have to teach yourself in the real world,” he said. “Having had some practical experience in the past, I enjoyed the theoretical component of my degree and the chance to learn new skills.”


Crop science the basis for a blooming career

Rose’s career in the cotton industry continues to grow. Rose Brodrick knows that her job as a CSIRO crop scientist is right for her, because even under difficult conditions, she really enjoys what she does. “I think that if I can be ankle-deep in mud, measuring soil water for my experiments in 44 degree heat, and enjoying it, then I must be in the right field,” she said. Rose was awarded a CSIRO PhD scholarship and completed her PhD with joint supervision from CSIRO and UQ. “My PhD project was based at the CSIRO Cotton Research Unit in Narrabri, so I had the best of both worlds,” said Rose.

Rose Brodrick Research Scientist CSIRO Plant Industry, Narrabri UQ Qualifications PHD (AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH) 2006 SALARY RANGE Minimum $90 000 Maximum $150 000+ Average $100 000

“My UQ supervisors were fantastic in providing support and direction and I conducted my research in the heart of the cotton industry at the research station in Narrabri.” “This broadened my experience during my PhD studies, helped me to form excellent connections with industry and developed the skills which I use in my current job.” During her PhD Rose investigated how cotton grows under different row spacing and plant density. The aim of her research was to improve the understanding of growth and development differences in cotton planted in conventionally spaced (1 metre) rows, and ultra-narrow rows which are used in high-input production systems in Australia. Before completing her PhD thesis Rose was offered a postdoctoral fellowship position with CSIRO. She then moved to a commercial seed company and spent a year as a Trials and Seed Increase Agronomist, before moving back to CSIRO where she completed a second postdoctoral fellowship. Rose is currently employed by CSIRO Plant Industry as Research Scientist. In this role she leads research into cotton crop irrigation, looking at the relationship between plant stress, soil water levels and climate. The aim of this research is to develop a new approach to irrigation scheduling, using water more efficiently while maximising the yield for cotton growers.


“Working with growers and the industry, getting their feedback and having a real impact on improving production practices is the best thing about my job,” she said. “The close collaboration with industry, and seeing successful outcomes, is what makes my work feel relevant.”

Hearing the call into Audiology

Shannon diagnoses hearing loss and provides rehabilitation options for a range of patientS. For Shannon Culley, the Bachelor of Science program at UQ was the perfect start to a calling in Audiology. “When I started university I wasn’t entirely sure what career path I wanted to follow, but I knew I wanted to work in the health sciences,” she said. “Starting out with a degree that was so flexible allowed me to try a few different areas and then zero in on what I really enjoyed.” “My Bachelor of Science was the first very important step in my career.” Shannon made the most of the broad range of choices, mixing up her science courses with two electives in Australian Films and Popular Culture. A Masters in Audiology Studies was the essential qualification to allow Shannon to progress to a career in the field. Shannon secured a graduate position with Neurosensory in Toowoomba prior to completing her Master’s degree. In this 12 month graduate internship she was closely supervised by a Senior Audiologist.

Shannon Culley Clinical Audiologist Neurosensory Medici Medical Centre UQ Qualifications Master of Audiology Studies 2010 Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) 2008 SALARY RANGE Minimum $60 000 Maximum $100 000+ Average $80 000

During that time she was trained in a variety of diagnostic tests and rehabilitation options for patients. “These included vestibular assessments, auditory brainstem response tests on newborns and learning about the latest in hearing aid technology,” she said. Shannon now works as a Clinical Audiologist with Neurosensory and provides a range of hearing health care to newborns, children and adult patients. She also supervises a graduate audiologist, passing on her experience to someone who is just starting out in the field.


Resources industry provides career boom

Kirsten’s expertise and passion bring big rewards. If you envisage a job that is ‘larger than life’, then working within the global resources industry may be just the career path for you. UQ Science graduate Kirsten Aitken works for BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Australia’s pre-eminent supplier of premium metallurgical coal to the global steel industry. BMA owns and manages seven mine sites in Central Queensland and a major coal loading port at Hay Point near Mackay.

Kirsten Aitken Senior Geologist Blackwater Mine BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Geology and Geographic Information Science) 2008 SALARY RANGE* Minimum $50 000 Maximum $250 000 Average $140 000 *source MyCareer Salary Centre

As a Senior Geologist at BMA’s Blackwater Mine, one of the world’s largest open cut coal operations, Kirsten works to optimise the efficiency of metallurgical and thermal coal recovery. “Blackwater Mine has a production capacity of around 14 million tonnes per annum, which is exported to customers around the world,” she said. “BMA geologists are responsible for conducting geological, geochemical and geophysical field surveys, collecting samples, and running drilling programs to collect data for research or application.” “We then use the latest computer software to estimate probable resource locations.” Kirsten believes her qualification from UQ gave her an excellent foundation across the sciences, but also taught her technical and report writing skills, which are highly valued by employers. After attending a Careers Fair at UQ in her final year of study, Kirsten applied to the BHP Billiton Graduate Program. “I was offered a place in the program six months prior to my graduation and when I commenced the two year graduate program, I worked at two of BMA’s operations, Peak Downs Mine and Norwich Park Mine,” she said. “After completing the graduate program I was offered a fulltime position at Blackwater Mine.”


Kirsten’s passion for her work was rewarded quickly by her employer and in November 2011, she was promoted to the role of Senior Geologist. In her spare time, Kirsten relishes the opportunity to mentor other passionate graduates and vacation students. “I enjoy the ability to grow and develop people who are keen to learn, and helping people understand geology is one of the most exciting parts of my role,” she said.

Building a career from the ground up

The challenges of creating the world’s best communities inspires Jaryd to excel. Flying in a helicopter above a newly completed project gives Jaryd Collins the ultimate job satisfaction. Since completing a Bachelor of Regional Town Planning at UQ, he has successfully gained roles with some of Australia’s largest property and infrastructure companies. Now, as a Development Manager at Cedar Wood Properties, Jaryd is responsible for the design and delivery of residential land and housing at Williams Landing, a landmark master planned community in Melbourne’s west. “What I love most about my job is that I can influence how future communities will live and interact,” he said. “It is incredibly important to get this right because a home is the biggest purchase and largest decision most people will ever make.” Prior to this role, Jaryd worked on the iconic Lend Lease project ‘Springfield Lakes‘, part of Australia’s largest master planned community, situated between Brisbane and Ipswich. “Ultimately, Greater Springfield’s population is set to be 105,000 people, residing in 30,000 homes,” he said. “In 2011, Greater Springfield was named the World’s Best Master Planned Community. To play a part in shaping the world’s best master planned community was an amazing experience.” While working on this project, Jaryd liaised with numerous consultants, local governments, investment partners and internal staff to ensure efficient and timely design, approval, construction and registration of residential subdivision and non-residential lots. Town planning, development and construction is an industry influenced by global economic trends, but Jaryd believes that as a UQ graduate he is well placed to respond to any downturns in employment.

Jaryd Collins Development Manager Cedar Woods Properties UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning 2006 SALARY RANGE Minimum $80 000 Maximum $120 000 Average $100 000

“During a difficult market a few years ago, my UQ network proved invaluable,” he said. “Having such a great network of highly respected industry professionals from my classes at UQ has ensured that I can perform at my best through the good and the bad.” Jaryd encourages prospective students to be bold and to chase after interests that may be a little out of their comfort zone. “Remember, baby steps will only ever get you short distances. Making mistakes is OK, just don’t make the same mistake twice,” he said.



Annastasia’s vision is to manage invasive weeds for smallholder farmers in Papua New Guinea. After two years of postgraduate study in Australia, Annastasia Kawi returned home to Papua New Guinea to lead a large scientific research project combating invasive weeds. Annastasia received a fellowship from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) which allowed her to study a Graduate Diploma and Master in Plant Protection at The University of Queensland. These fellowships support students to gain knowledge and research skills in agriculture so they can make a positive difference in agricultural production in their home countries. Currently, as the in-country Project Leader for an ACIARfunded project on invasive weeds with the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI ) in Papua New Guinea, Annastasia’s focus is on the biological control of the invasive weed Mikania micrantha which causes yield losses to crops and trees.

Annastasia Kawi Senior Scientist, Crop Protection National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), Papua New Guinea UQ Qualifications Master of Plant Protection 2008 Graduate Diploma in Plant Protection 2007 SALARY RANGE Minimum 29 035 PGK Maximum 35 487 PGK (Papua New Guinea Kina)

“I was promoted to the position of in-country Project Leader upon my return to Papua New Guinea and I enjoy my research because it will benefit rural farming communities and improve their livelihood,” she said. “My study at UQ with experienced lecturers and supervisors was the opportunity of a lifetime, enabling me to graduate with a Dean’s Commendation which was very memorable.” Annastasia studied at the UQ Gatton campus and lived in Gatton where she and her family became part of the community. “Moving here with my three young children was a wonderful experience and one they will always remember,” she said. “As a member of the Gatton International Student Association (GISA) I gained the confidence to communicate, discuss and share ideas on academic issues with other students.” In addition to her experiences in Australia, Annastasia’s science career has taken her on a number of overseas adventures. “I feel privileged to have travelled the world and presented papers at international symposiums and conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Hawaii, Fiji and Vanuatu,” she said.


Annastasia’s combination of expertise and experience has provided a solid foundation as she pursues her research goals to help rural communities.

Research skills foster nex t generation of Mal aysian scientists

Fazren brought his research skills back to Malaysia to help develop the country’s future scientists. UQ Bachelor of Biotechnology graduate, Fazren Azmi, returned to Malaysia to share his passion for research with a new generation of Malaysian scientists. Fazren majored in Drug Design and Development and completed an Honours project under the supervision of UQ’s Professor Istvan Toth, a world renowned drug delivery expert. Within a month of returning to Malaysia, Fazren was offered a job as a Product Specialist in a pharmaceutical company. Six months later he was offered a Research Fellow and Lecturer position at the National University of Malaysia. “Being a graduate from such a prestigious university as UQ was an advantage in securing an interview with my employer,” he said. “UQ is recognised as one of the top universities for medical research. Expertise in certain areas of medical research is greatly needed in Malaysia.” The Bachelor of Biotechnology program provided a good grounding in basic science and pharmacology, as well as providing Fazren with laboratory experience and skills in commercialisation. His Honours project added to his employability and gave him the edge when applying for jobs. While employed by the Faculty of Pharmacy at the National University of Malaysia, Fazren researched drug design and development, taught students and participated in outreach activities. Fazren wants to continue to shape the minds of future generations of scientists and is now taking study leave to pursue a PhD qualification. A doctoral degree will assist his promotion to a Senior Lecturer position, as well as enabling him to develop innovative new research projects and supervise students at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Fazren Azmi Lecturer and Research Fellow Faculty of Pharmacy National University of Malaysia (UKM) UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Biotechnology (Drug Design and Development) with Honours 2011 SALARY RANGE Minimum 3500 MYR Maximum 30 000 MYR Average 10 000 MYR (Malaysian Ringgit)

“Being a researcher and lecturer allows me to pursue my interests in science, to learn something new, to hone my problem-solving skills and to challenge myself in new ways,” he said. “Sharing my knowledge for the benefit of others is what I love most about my job.”


Conserving reefs a long term career

A passion for the environment took Sophie from observer to manager. Sophie Clay has taken her passion for marine conservation to a new level with a Master of Environmental Management at UQ. She previously completed a Business Management degree at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom before moving to Thailand to work in the SCUBA diving industry. Then, after several years working for a non-Government organisation (NGO) in food security and livestock health in the Horn of Africa, she returned to university to pursue a career in Environmental Management.

Sophie Clay Project Manager Coral Cay Conservation, Cambodia UQ Qualifications Master of Environmental Management (Natural Resource Management) 2012 SALARY RANGE Minimum 8,000 GBP (Great British Pounds)

“Completing a Master of Environmental Management at UQ has enabled me to direct my passion for the oceans and conservation into a long term career,” she said. “A large part of my decision to study at UQ was based on UQ’s excellent reputation in the field of environmental studies.” “Being so close to the extraordinary marine environments off the Queensland coast was also a factor!” With her lecturers holding roles in global organisations, Sophie found their ability to draw links between theoretical concepts and real situations invaluable in putting what she learnt into context. She gained further experience in her field by volunteering to assist at the IUCN Oceania Regional Conservation Forum and secured an internship with The Nature Conservancy, one of the leading global conservation NGOs. After completing her Masters degree, Sophie moved to Koh Rong Island, Cambodia, for her current role as Project Manager for the Cambodia Coral Reef Conservation Project. She works with the Coral Cay Conservation Head Office in the UK, staff in Cambodia, the Fisheries Administration of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and other project partners to develop and implement Cambodia’s first effectively managed Marine Protected Area around Koh Rong Island. Sophie hosts workshops and training events, develops new partnerships, oversees the scientific survey monitoring program, writes project updates and works with the local community to develop alternative livelihood programs for those who used to fish in the area.


“My studies at UQ gave me a strong background in environmental management which is essential to my role,” she said. “Establishing Marine Protected Areas informed by scientific data is a way to meet environmental challenges and help to create a more sustainable future for all.”

Realising a dream

Waking up in paradise each morning is a dream come true for this veterinarian. In a small rural vet practice in the beautiful location of Golden Bay, New Zealand, Guy Weerasinghe is part of a team ensuring the wellbeing of all animals, both great and small. Each day he is presented with a variety of cases, making no two working days ever the same. “In one day I can treat a lame cow, examine a sick guinea pig and stitch up a wounded dog that has been in a fight,” he said. “The rural aspect of my job also requires me to look after the welfare, health and production of dairy cattle on farms in Golden Bay.” “This can be from basic ambulatory call outs to consultancy roles; for example, helping farmers manage their milk production by reducing the rate of mastitis in their herd.”

Guyan Weerasinghe

In addition, Guy is also responsible for managing the health and welfare of pets in Golden Bay, performing routine surgeries, treatments and providing general advice.

Veterinarian Rural Service Centre Golden Bay, New Zealand

He believes that his Bachelor of Veterinary Science from UQ gave him the best possible advantage to succeed as a young veterinarian.

UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Veterinary Science 2011

“I loved the veterinary science program and my employer also appreciates that I still maintain ties with the university,” he said. “Our training required us to gain practical experience in all aspects of animal health and I also travelled around Australia to work on some highly memorable projects.”

SALARY RANGE Minimum $40 000 Maximum $100 000 Average (dependant on experience)

“I particularly enjoyed the sense of collegiality amongst not only students, but the staff as well.” During his five years program Guy made the most of every extracurricular activity and was the Valedictorian of the graduating class of 2011. As a student, he attended multiple conferences, including the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinary Leadership Experience (AVMA VLE) in Post Falls, Idaho. “I believe that this support during and after university is the key towards having a fulfilling career in veterinary science,” he said.


Life on the wild side

A ten day study tour was enough inspiration for a five year stay in the jungle. In the third year of her Bachelor of Applied Science program, Rachael Nasplezes travelled to South Africa for a ten day study course at the Southern African Wildlife College. This life-altering experience inspired her to return a few months later when she graduated to work on social ecology and conservation projects for a further five years. During this time, Rachael worked with rural communities bordering one of Africa’s largest and most popular national parks, the Kruger National Park. “I helped communities to benefit from the Park and the large tourist trade generated by developing eco business options,” she said. “I also undertook fieldwork with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on a buffalo tuberculosis project and was a research assistant on a project to reintroduce chimpanzees to Fisilagpo Island, Cote d’Ivoire.”

Rachael Nasplezes

“Having a connection with UQ was a critical factor in securing work in South Africa.”

Senior Community Engagement Officer Healthy Waterways

Since her return to Australia, Rachael has held various conservation roles with local councils, regional bodies and National NGO WetlandCare Australia.

UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Studies) 2004

She is now a Senior Community Engagement Officer for Healthy Waterways, a not-for-profit organisation based in Brisbane.

SALARY RANGE Minimum $63 000 Maximum $75 000 Average $69 000

In this role she communicates and educates communities on the science behind waterway health in South-East Queensland. “We work collaboratively with communities, government, industry, researchers and businesses to address threatening processes that can affect waterway health,” she said. “Depending on the action required, we can provide formal education resources and implement behaviour change campaigns to encourage positive action and improve our waterways.” Rachael enjoys her work as it integrates many social, economic and environmental factors. To further extend her knowledge she is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management at UQ.


Science degree a ticket to travel

Meggie finds her science skills are transportable and INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED. A UQ Science degree has been a ticket to travel for Dutch-Australian Meggie Voogt, who now lives and works in Germany. Meggie completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biomedical Science, and completed Honours in Neuroscience at UQ. “My Bachelor’s degree had a good combination of theory and practical classes,” she said. “The program offered a broad range of subjects which allowed me to follow my interests while covering the essentials.” “My Honours program was an intense but rewarding year. It was a lot more specialised and provided a good insight into the research world.” After completing Honours, Meggie spent ten months travelling around Europe, undertaking volunteer work in France, Italy and Greece. When she returned to Australia, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Queensland Brain Institute in the same lab where she completed her Honours degree. Within three months of returning to Australia Meggie was ready for further adventure and made a big move to Frankfurt, Germany. “The University of Queensland is a respected university world-wide and my degree was valued when looking for work overseas.”

Meggie Voogt Laboratory Technician Good Manufacturing Practice Employed through PHAST GmbH, Germany UQ Qualifications Honours (Neuroscience) 2009 Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) 2008 SALARY RANGE Minimum $34 000 Maximum $83 000

Meggie’s current job involves preparing, executing and documenting the production of clinical medical products in accordance with current good manufacturing practices, operating machines to manufacture medications, taking samples to verify aseptic processing and carrying out InProcess Controls. She enjoys the mix of office and practical work and being immersed in a foreign culture. “Speaking German every day certainly makes it a challenge! Having a science background has provided me with flexible employment options, whether in research or industry based employment.” “I gained a lot of experience in my UQ Science degree which has allowed me to follow my career interests in Australia and overseas.”


Teaching combines interest in science & people

Julia enjoys the challenge of inspiring her students in their study of science. A dual degree in Science and Secondary Education gave Julia Bruerton the experience and skills to teach Physics and Mathematics at one of Brisbane’s most prestigious private schools. Julia completed a major in Physics and a minor in Mathematics alongside her studies in Education.

Julia Bruerton Senior Physics and Mathematics Teacher Brisbane Grammar School UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Physics and Mathematics) 2010 Bachelor of Secondary Education 2010 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 Maximum $80 000 Average $67 563

“Completing a dual degree gave me the opportunity to experience two very different forms of higher learning,” she said. “I really enjoyed the contrast of the experimental and analytical focus I experienced in my Physics and Maths courses with the focus on societal and cultural understanding I gained in my Education courses.” Shortly after graduating Julia found a job as a Physics and Maths Teacher at Kenmore State High School. She spent a year in that role before moving to Cavendish Road State High School to teach Maths. Julia’s UQ qualifications were an advantage when applying for her current role as a Physics and Maths teacher at Brisbane Grammar School, and her UQ colleagues provided advice and references which supported Julia’s application. “My UQ degree provided me with a solid grounding in my curriculum areas and pre-service placements at wellrespected schools,” she said. “It also helped me to form an excellent network that has helped me in my career.” Julia’s current role involves preparing and delivering lessons, managing assessment and practical work, pastoral care of students and extra-curricular activities such as taking a team of year 10 students to Singapore to compete in the Junior Youth Physics Tournament. One of the most interesting experiences she has had was working on the new National Curriculum.


“I was involved in writing units of work and assessments, as well as training primary teachers in science to prepare them for the transition into teaching year seven students as part of a high school syllabus,” she said. “The best part of my job is interacting with all kinds of people every day and being constantly challenged by inspiring young people.”

Research with future world impact

Paul’s expertise in bioinformatics and genomics is improving commercial crops. Paul Berkman is a young scientist working on a very large global puzzle. He is discovering how sugarcane can be improved for both food and fuel consumption and to potentially create a more sustainable future for millions of people across the world. It’s a very complex puzzle, as sugarcane is renowned for having a challenging DNA code that is more than three times the size of that of the human genome. “While most species have only two copies of their genome, sugarcane has between eight and twelve copies making it particularly tricky to investigate,” he said. “I use the problem solving skills I learnt at university to develop new ways of thinking about sugarcane genetics and genomics.” One of the highlights of Paul’s career was travelling to Europe in September 2012 to present his current research to an international conference. “The most exciting part about this trip was having my own research ideas affirmed by world-renowned scientists whom I had never met,” he said. “This proved to me that I am working right at the forefront of scientific discovery in my field.” As a PhD student, Paul also presented his research along with his supervisor at a CSIRO seminar series, which turned out to be a highly rewarding experience.

Paul Berkman Postdoctoral Fellow Sugarcane Genome Bioinformatics CSIRO Plant Industry UQ Qualifications Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation 2012 PhD (Plant Genome Bioinformatics) 2012 Bachelor of Science (Genetics) 2005 SALARY Minimum $75 825 Maximum $85 785 Average $80 805

“When I applied for an advertised position with CSIRO, my work was already familiar to them,” he said. “I succeeded in gaining my current position due to the strong overlap between my studies and the requirements of the role.” Paul still maintains regular contact with the network of friends and connections he established at UQ and they are a source of personal and professional support as he continues to solve this important genomic puzzle.


Careers in food science a healthy choice

Anneline is revealing the mysteries behind what we eat. Whether you like your carrots black or orange, baby or fullsized, food scientist Anneline Padayachee has revealed how fruit and vegetable fibre is more than just a bowel scourer using this humble vegetable. While undertaking a PhD in Nutritional Food Science, Anneline used black carrots to discover that the fibrous makeup of fruits and vegetables plays an important role in the release, trafficking and function of antioxidants, and may be involved in protecting the colon from health conditions including cancer. For her world first discoveries in human nutrition and fruit and vegetable-antioxidant science, she was named overall best performer and winner of the national “Fresh Science” competition for early career researchers in 2012.

Anneline Padayachee Research Fellow The University of Melbourne UQ Qualifications PhD (Nutritional Food Science) 2012 Honours (Food Science and Nutrition) 2004 Bachelor of Applied Science (Food Science and Nutrition) 2003 SALARY Minimum $65 000 Maximum $100 000+ Average $85 000

“My discovery was that fibre acts as an antioxidant trafficker by safely transporting antioxidant nutrients through the stomach and small intestine to the colon where they may be involved in improving gut health and protecting against health conditions such as colon cancer,” she said. Anneline attributes her success to her knowledgeable PhD supervisors, undergraduate lecturers and the practical components of her degree as well as the opportunity to collaborate with leading research scientists during her PhD studies. Her first job offer came within two weeks of graduating from her program. “Once potential employers heard that I had completed my studies at UQ, they were very impressed,” she said. UQ has a reputation for being world class and really preparing students well for practical roles.” “My undergraduate course coordinator is still a valuable mentor to me and is highly respected in the industry. My PhD advisors are now my collaborators.” Before completing her PhD in 2012, she had roles in Quality Assurance and as a Research and Development Technologist in the food industry. Now, as a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Anneline will continue her research on the role of fruit and vegetable fibre and polyphenols on nutrient absorption and cardiovascular disease.


“Whilst my research has found that fibre can transport Polyphenols to the colon where they may be involved in health mechanisms, this next stage of research will be focusing on understanding and defining what these mechanisms are and how we can apply it to our food supply and dietary intake in Australia,” she said. Anneline’s best piece of advice for science students is to remain curious, and to never stop seeking the answers to your most imaginative questions.

Environmental focus for global career

Assisting in the management of major projects brings career satisfaction for Jasmin. Jasmin Lightbody is using her UQ qualifications to encourage environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly development. By studying a Bachelor of Environmental Management majoring in Sustainable Devlopment, she was well prepared for a diverse career with an environmental focus. “The interdisciplinary nature of the degree gave me the foundation to explore a couple of potential career paths before deciding ecology was the field for me,” she said. “The program allowed me to gain skills in a range of areas that have proved invaluable to my current role, such as Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Regulatory Frameworks which I now use regularly.” Jasmin also enjoyed the flexibility of the program and the opportunities it afforded. “I was able to spend a semester studying abroad at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and a semester studying by correspondence from a beautiful bay-side town in Tasmania,” she said. “I had opportunities to go on field trips, including a two week field trip to Far North Queensland, and I was able to complete an industry placement which helped me secure a rewarding graduate position.” Jasmin’s first job was with the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) as the part-time coordinator of their EnviroDevelopment program.

Jasmin Lightbody Ecologist Environmental Resources Management UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Environmental Management (Sustainable Development) with Honours 2011 SALARY RANGE Minimum $55 000 Maximum $65 000

She started working with UDIA in her final semester of study and then transitioned to a full time role after she had completed her exams. After twelve months with UDIA, Jasmin secured her current position as an Ecologist for Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a global environmental consultancy. As a consultant, her role is varied and provides opportunities to travel throughout Australia and internationally. “Since joining ERM I have helped prepare a rehabilitation management plan for a gas pipeline in Queensland; undertaken baseline ecological assessments and threatened species searches for proposed wind farms; and conducted field surveys to investigate threats to natural heritage values of Commonwealth Heritage Listed properties.” Jasmin is currently based in Jakarta, assisting in the preparation of environmental management plans for a major energy development in Indonesia.


Treating wounded wildlife provides a dream role

Rehabilitation of injured animals gives Bonny a rewarding career. Photo by Chris McCormack at News Queensland.

Rehabilitating injured Australian wildlife is a labour of love for Bonny Cumming. It is also her job as a Wildlife Veterinarian at the RSPCA QLD Wildlife Hospital. Bonny studied a Bachelor of Veterinary Science with Honours at UQ. “It was a very hands-on program with an emphasis on learning practical skills,” she said. “It was also a very social program! There was good rapport between the staff and students.”

Bonny Cumming Wildlife Veterinarian RSPCA Queensland Wildlife Hospital UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Veterinary Science with Honours 2008 SALARY RANGE Minimum $45 000 Maximum $100 000 Average $70 000

While studying, Bonny worked as a Veterinary Nurse at Australia Zoo, gaining valuable experience for her current role. She was offered her first job as a Veterinarian at the Kangaroo Island Vet Clinic before she graduated. It was a mixed practice and the only vet clinic on the island, so she worked with a wide variety of cases from dogs and cats, to horses, sheep and wildlife. Bonny returned to university to study a Master of Veterinary Conservation Medicine and spent three months on an Antarctic expedition as part of her studies. She was the veterinarian on a project to capture and track elephant seals, responsible for sedating the seals while the team attached state-of-the-art satellite trackers to monitor a suite of biological data. “The Antarctic research trip was an incredible opportunity for which I am so very grateful,” she said, “The aim was to use data collected from the seals’ trackers to monitor the effects of climate change on the fragile Antarctic environment.” Bonny now works with RSPCA Queensland, assessing and treating native wildlife species which are found injured, ill or orphaned. She enjoys the variety of her work through the different species and needs of the animals she treats, and feels a sense of pride with every animal that’s successfully rehabilitated and released.


“The best thing about my job is seeing a rehabilitated animal being able to be released back into the wild, thereby contributing to the conservation of our incredible native wildlife,” she said.

A colourful career choice

Devi’s interest in colourful lizards has led to an international career. A combined Science/Arts degree at UQ introduced Devi Stuart-Fox to a breadth of ideas and disciplines which has led her to a successful career in Zoology research. Devi has been the recipient of a L’Oreal-UNESCO International Fellowship and has just received another L’Oréal-UNESCO International Special Fellowship, awarded in memory of famous female scientist, Marie Curie. “I had no firm ideas about my career path when I left school,” she said.

Photo by SDP Media.

“My Science and Arts degrees allowed me to discover what truly interested me. Both degrees encouraged me to think critically and develop important research skills which would have been useful in any field.” Devi majored in Philosophy, Anthropology and Zoology, choosing to pursue Zoology in her Honours degree and then with a PhD. After completing her PhD, Devi spent four years working in South Africa, researching her favourite animal: the lizard. She studied colour change in chameleons and found that this ability evolved due to social and territorial displays, not as camouflage. Devi then returned to Australia to take up an ARC Australian Research Fellowship and Lecturer position in the Zoology Department at the University of Melbourne. She is now a Senior Lecturer and leads an active research group which investigates animal colour patterns and colour change. “I’m just really fascinated by animals with fabulous colours and ornaments!” she said. “Coloration is so important for how animals survive, communicate, adapt, and evolve - it’s the phenomenon which creates diversity - that’s why it is so interesting to biologists like me.

Devi Stuart-Fox Senior Lecturer and ARC Australian Research Fellow University of Melbourne UQ Qualifications PHD (ZOOLOGY) 2003 HONOURS (ZOOLOGY) 1998 BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (ZOOLOGY) 1996 BACHELOR OF ARTS (PHILOSOPHY, ANTHROPOLOGY) 1996 SALARY RANGE Minimum $106 980 Maximum $123 353

“My career in science has given me opportunities to travel and experience places in a way that is very different to how a tourist might experience them – though I enjoy being a tourist too! “Through my UQ degrees and subsequent career I have participated in scientific expeditions in Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, and have done field work in countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Malaysia and Portugal. Having the opportunity to experience this diversity of environments – both natural and cultural – is a bonus of my career.”



Tia is improving environmental outcomes for an international mining company. With a passion for science and the great outdoors, Tia Northfield is an Environmental Advisor helping to manage environmental impacts at Rio Tinto’s Alumina Refinery in Gladstone, Central Queensland. While completing the Bachelor of Environmental Science at UQ, Tia realised that positive environmental outcomes could be achieved by working in industry. “At Rio Tinto, I work with a range of professions to look for innovative ways to maximise production whilst maintaining and improving our environmental objectives,” she said. Tia also enjoys the hands-on experience that comes with her role and she doesn’t spend too much time in the office. Her daily tasks include water sampling and analysis, air quality monitoring, wildlife management, contaminated land management and obtaining environmental approvals.

Tia Northfield Environmental Advisor Rio Tinto UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Environmental Science (Ecology) with Honours 2009 SALARY RANGE Minimum $60 000 Maximum $150 000 Average $80 000

She says the Bachelor of Environmental Science provided a strong foundation for her transition into the workforce. “My degree equipped me with skills and knowledge I use every day,” she said. “It gave me insight into the many facets of environmental science and I was also able to tailor my degree to include other areas of interest such as ecology, environmental law and soil science.” An interest in soil science led her to undertake an Honours research project focusing on contaminated land management, the findings of which were published in a scientific journal. “My Honours year at UQ was a highlight, I really enjoyed the opportunity to study my topic area in-depth and work with experts in the field,” she said. “Both the technical and theoretical aspects of my honours research have definitely assisted me in my current role.”


Developing a successful career in R &D

Elise works on innovative R&D projects for a range of industries. Elise Webb enjoys the variety and challenges her role as a Research and Development Tax Incentives Consultant at KPMG provides. It’s also what drew her to study a Bachelor of Science at UQ. “I particularly enjoyed the range of subjects offered within the Biomedical Science major of the Bachelor of Science,” she said. “I was able to study neuroscience, biology, genetics and anatomy. It gave me the chance to broaden my knowledge base and develop skills from different disciplines which have helped with my chosen specialisation.” Elise completed a Bachelor of Science dual degree with a Bachelor of Business Management and was offered a job during her final semester of study. “My UQ qualifications were recognised by all the potential employers I interviewed with in Queensland, Australia and the Asia-Pacific,” she said. “Additionally, the core problem solving and analysis skills that I acquired by studying science are highly valued in all industries, and gave me a definite advantage.” In her current role, Elise works with local, national and multinational clients who are conducting Australia’s most innovative Research & Development (R&D) projects. “My clients range from huge IT firms, engineering and mining firms, to plant cloning companies,” she said.

Elise Webb Research and Development Tax Incentives Consultant KPMG UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) 2011 Bachelor of Business Management (Marketing) 2011 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 (Graduate consultant) Average $120 000 (Management level)

“My job means I am exposed to the technologies and developments at the forefront of almost every industry one could imagine. Each day is different, and the challenges that arise are always interesting.” She interviews clients about their projects, reviews their eligibility for research and development tax incentives, provides advice about qualifying for the incentive and assists with project management. “Many of the clients I deal with are in technical roles and my UQ Science degree enables me to understand, interpret and present this information in a form which people without scientific training can understand,” she said.


Biotech and business a successful combination

Combining an interest in business and biotechnology puts Ahilya on a career trajectory across many countries. Ahilya Mathew has travelled the world and lived in four countries while pursuing her studies and working in the field of biotechnology.

Ahilya Mathew Applying for PhD candidature (UQ) UQ Qualifications Master of Technology and Innovation Management 2011 Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation 2010 Master of Biotechnology 2005 SALARY RANGE PhD Scholarships available – please check with UQ for details

She completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, majoring in Biotechnology, and undertook a one year Industrial Placement with Novartis Pharma AG in Switzerland, studying mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. She then moved to Australia to complete a Master of Biotechnology at The University of Queensland. “I chose to study at UQ because it is ranked in the top 50 universities world-wide for its strength in biosciences research and commercialisation,” she said. “My Master’s program gave me the chance to work in several labs, on research projects into cutting-edge biotechnology.” “As well as gaining practical lab skills, I completed business courses which gave me a sound understanding of business planning and management, product development, intellectual property and regulatory affairs.” Immediately after graduating, Ahilya was offered a position as a Vacation Research Scholar at the Queensland Brain Institute. She then relocated to India to work as a researcher at Aurigene Discovery Technology. Ahilya returned to Australia to study further at UQ and completed a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation and a Master of Technology and Innovation Management. “I found the business and commercialisation courses in my Master of Biotechnology so interesting that I wanted to study this area further,” she said. “The skills I gained in strategic management, technology and innovation strategy, product development and entrepreneurship have equipped me for upper management positions in a biotechnology company or research commercialisation organisation.”


After spending five months as an intern at a corporate consultancy, Ahilya is now intending to take her education one step further by completing a PhD at UQ.

Finger on the pulse

Michael provides INNOVATIVE, medical therapies on a global scale. Working across international borders is one of the aspects of his job that Michael Bodner enjoys as the Divisional Vice President, Endovascular Global Market Development, of the global health care company Abbott Vascular. His broad range of responsibilities spans the global strategy, portfolio management, therapy and market development for Abbott Vascular’s Endovascular business. With a strong interest in science and business, Michael chose to combine the two with a Doctorate in Biotechnology at UQ. “An advanced degree in Science is well respected by both internal and external stakeholders – particularly working within the medical device industry and the program provided me with a good biotechnology, biology and business skills foundation,” he said. Michael enjoyed the close interaction with his professors and other students during the degree and still benefits from the knowledge of how to integrate business and science offered by the program. “This was the only program that I was aware of that looked not just at business skills or application of science but on how to commercialize biotechnology.“ Michael took his first steps into the Biotechnology industry by obtaining an internship while still at university. “Program coordinator, Professor Ross Barnard, helped me to find an internship with PanBio, a producer of point-of-care diagnostic test kits for infectious diseases such as West Nile virus and Dengue Fever.”

Michael Bodner Divisional Vice President Endovascular Global Market Development Abbott Vascular, Santa Clara, California UQ Qualifications Doctor of Biotechnology 2003 SALARY RANGE Salaries are negotiated by contract and may vary depending on location and size of organisation

Since leaving university Michael has had a number of roles in sales and marketing with great mentors along the way. One of the highlights of his career so far has been the launch of Abbott’s innovative ABSORB Scaffold across Southeast Asia. “This is the world’s first commercially available bioresorbable vascular scaffold – it does the same job as a drug eluting stent but disappears after its job is done,” he said. After more than 10 years in the industry, Michael has never lost his enthusiasm for mixing science and business to introduce new medical therapies for better patient outcomes.



Emily assists producers to improve animal health outcomes. Investigating animal disease is a rewarding challenge for Emily Litzow in her role as an Animal Health Officer. She works with a range of animals, as well as farmers, to ensure the health of livestock in Port Lincoln, South Australia. Emily studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UQ, majoring in Animal Science. “I particularly enjoyed the practical aspects of the program,” she said. “I had the opportunity to complete work placements and a fourth year project which provided real insight into agricultural research.” “My UQ qualifications and the skills I demonstrated in my fourth year project were highly valued when I was looking for employment.”

Emily Litzow Animal Health Officer PIRSA Biosecurity Animal Health UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Animal Science) 2007 SALARY RANGE Minimum $54 000 Maximum $78 000 Average $66 000

During her final semester of study Emily was offered a full-time position with the then Queensland Department of Primary Industries as a research scientist in forage production. She spent two years in this role before taking a position as a Station Hand at Coovin Station in Clermont. Following this role she became a Technical Assistant on Wylarah Station for the Australian Agricultural Company. Emily now works as an Animal Health Officer for the Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia. Her role involves monitoring disease and providing first response during outbreaks, assisting in emergency situations such as bushfires, conducting workshops and information sessions about livestock health for producers, and monitoring compliance with the National Livestock Identification System. “When I was applying for this role my employer valued the large animal focus of my UQ program and the work experience I had gained during my degree and in the workforce after graduating,” she said. “One of my biggest achievements in this role has been developing a book in the style of a ‘ute guide’ called Sheep Diseases – The Farmers’ Guide, to assist sheep producers with sheep health problems.” “I love the diversity of my role, every day brings a new challenge and I am constantly learning. I also feel like I am genuinely helping farmers and their animals,” she said.



Jason’s interest in quantum theories LEAD to A career change. After working as a software developer for 15 years, Jason Werry decided to take his career in a new direction in 2010. Little did he know that he would be on his way to becoming a research mathematician just two years later. With a strong interest in the mathematics behind quantum mechanics and prior study experience at UQ, he chose to enrol in UQ’s Master of Science majoring in Mathematics. “I had completed a Bachelor of Science at UQ in 1993 and really liked the environment and the quality of the courses, so when deciding on a university for my Masters degree, UQ was a natural choice,” he said. “The lecturers and facilities here are outstanding and the library is one of the best physical sciences libraries in the southern hemisphere.” During his postgraduate degree Jason worked on projects involving the latest research in mathematics, giving him the knowledge and confidence to take his studies one step further and to commence a PhD. “The course has provided me with a great preparation for a PhD,” he said. For his thesis he is looking at the algebraic structures underlying the interactions of quantum particles. The results of his research may find application in fields such as quantum chemistry which uses computers to model the behaviour of atoms and molecules.

Jason Werry PhD candidate in the field of Mathematics The University of Queensland UQ Qualifications Master of Science (Mathematics) 2011 Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Mathematics) 1993 SALARY PhD scholarships available – please check with UQ for details

“I do a bit of everything including reviewing literature, learning the required mathematical background and most importantly, talking and thinking about my research topic,” he said. But Jason found that the best ideas sometimes don’t evolve in the library. “I have had two mathematical ‘a-ha’ moments. One while on holiday on the Gold Coast, the other while doing the dishes at home! Each one of these has expanded into important sections of my thesis,” he said. With his research, Jason hopes to further contribute to the investigation of mathematical structures within quantum theories and to start a new career as a research mathematician.


Science and L aw the right formul a for UQ graduate

Angela’s role makes a difference for patients around the world. With a background in Biomedical Science and Law, Angela Jensen (formerly Stonier) has customised a career in the international pharmaceutical industry. Angela studied a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biomedical Science, combined with a Bachelor of Laws at UQ. During her program she spent a year on exchange in Denmark, building her fluency in Danish and gaining experience which has shaped the course of her career.

Angela Jensen Legal and Compliance Counsel Novo Nordisk, Dubai UQ Qualifications BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE) 2008 BACHELOR OF LAWS (HONOURS) 2008 SALARY RANGE Minimum $80 000 Maximum $150 000 Average $95 000 (Current package includes housing, car and allowances)

“Studying at UQ confirmed my passion for science and equipped me to continue into the corporate world,” she said. “My exchange year in Denmark exposed me to international contracts, European company law, frameworks for clinical trials and pharmaceutical codes of conduct.” After completing her dual program, Angela was eager to return to Denmark and continue her studies with a Master of Laws under a two-year scholarship from the University of Copenhagen. While studying, she started her first job with Novo Nordisk, working part-time as a Paralegal. “My managers at Novo Nordisk were particularly impressed with my exposure to science and ability to understand chemistry and biology at a university level,” she said. “My understanding of the highly technical appendices of the contracts I worked on enabled me to contribute significantly to the company.” After a brief return to Australia to complete a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, and almost a year at a Danish Law firm consulting on Life Sciences law, she was offered a six month contract at Novo Nordisk as an in-house lawyer. When a new position opened in the Novo Nordisk Dubai office, Angela jumped at the opportunity to continue working with the company.


“My job involves helping colleagues to successfully launch and distribute new products, screening business partners, securing sound relationships with doctors who prescribe Novo Nordisk products, and providing training in business ethics to ensure that our company and business partners operate at the highest standards,” she said. Angela has also integrated with the local community of in-house lawyers, known as Corporate Counsel Middle East, and was recently shortlisted for the award of ‘Legal Counsel of the Year’ for 2013.

It’s a wild, wild life

As a wildlife veterinarian Robyn is saving our unique fauna. Robyn Stenner’s passion for Australian wildlife led her to a degree in Veterinary Science and into her current role as a Wildlife Veterinarian. “I think it’s important to study something at university which incorporates your special area of interest and will give you the skills you need for the industries you want to work in,” she said. As an active volunteer wildlife carer, she wanted to turn her passion into a career and continue to improve the health of Australian wildlife. “My degree enabled me to develop the necessary skills for the veterinary profession and incorporated practical work placements which I found really enjoyable and very beneficial when applying for jobs,” she said. After graduating, Robyn spent 18 months working as a Small Animal Veterinarian in the United Kingdom and several months locuming in small animal clinics when she returned to Australia. She was then offered her current position with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. “I completed an industry placement with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital while studying at UQ, then continued to spend time at the Wildlife Hospital on a volunteer basis until I moved to England,” she said. “The connection I developed with the staff, and the enthusiasm and skills I was able to demonstrate as a volunteer helped me to secure this job.” In her current role, Robyn assesses and treats injury and disease in native Australian wildlife. She works with native birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, possums and koalas, developing treatment plans, administering medication and performing surgery.

Robyn Stenner Wildlife Veterinarian Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Veterinary Science 2006 SALARY RANGE Minimum $53 000 Maximum $94 000 Average $70 000

“On a daily basis I treat animals which have flown into windows, become entangled in netting or barbed wire, been run over, or been bitten by family pets,” she said. “I also try to educate people on how they can live a little more harmoniously with our abundance of wildlife, such as by slowing down at dusk and dawn when Australian animals are most active, and keeping pets indoors at night.” Robyn says one of the best aspects of her work is releasing an animal back into the wild once it has healed. “We can’t save them all, even though we try. So every animal we can heal and release is precious, and the opportunity to see them go free again is priceless.”


An everchanging frontier

Protecting our agricultural livelihood is all in A day’s work for Sarah. With the increased affordability and ease of global travel, there is also a growing menace to Australia’s important agricultural industries. As a Plant Biosecurity Officer for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Sarah’s Rossiter’s role is to manage the threat of exotic animal and plant pests and diseases and to minimise their impact on agricultural industries and unique flora and fauna. In this role, Sarah contributes to the horticultural market and the Queensland economy through product certification and chemical residue investigations of Queensland produce. “I am fondly known to my mates as a chemical cop,” she said.

Sarah Rossiter Biosecurity Officer Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland Government UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Studies) 2007 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 Maximum $70 000 Average $60 000

“My responsibilities are product integrity and plant biosecurity. I undertake chemical regulatory duties, plant disease surveillance and the occasional emergency disease response.” Sarah is now a part of the First Response Unit, responding to any critical plant or animal disease in Queensland. Sarah studied a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Equine Studies, and feels this has been a great foundation for her chosen career. Her studies has provided her with a transferable skill set that she now applies in her career with plant health. “The positions I have gained since graduation have been due to the reputation of my UQ degree” she said. “I have used my degree to move from horse studs, into animal nutrition, to a temporary role in the Equine Influenza Response Unit and on to my current permanent role with the government.” Sarah believes perseverance and hard work is also critical to obtaining a job. Her program, which was delivered at the UQ Gatton campus, was also a positive experience. “I chose UQ Gatton because of the atmosphere, which I first noticed when I attended Open Day,” she said. “It is a small campus that is more personal and has so much open space. I knew I could have the best of both country and city living.”


Sarah plans to return to university to undertake horticulture studies to give her additional skills in her current position.


Andrew has transformed his passion for environmental issues into a highly rewarding career. For Andrew Wilson, world travel, diverse projects and the ability to contribute positively to global and community issues has created a fulfilling career. In his final year of a Bachelor of Environment Management, he slipped seamlessly into a casual role with Redland City Council after completing his industrial placement with the council’s Environmental Management Group. The following year he began work at consultancy firm Ensight, where he is now a Senior Carbon and Energy Advisor. “At the time Ensight had two of my classmates as casual employees and they were very impressed with their standard of work,” he said. “It was suggested that I should also meet up with them just prior to graduation, and a week later, I had a job!” “My role primarily involves managing consultancy projects for a wide range of clients.” On any given day Andrew could be helping clients manage their legal greenhouse and energy reporting obligations, overseeing an energy audit program to reduce operational costs, writing corporate sustainability reports or developing environmental projects to offset greenhouse gas emissions. “In 2012, I spent 7 weeks in South Africa working on a Rio Tinto project, developing an energy management strategy for the country’s largest copper mine at Phalaborwa,” he said.

Andrew Wilson Senior Carbon and Energy Advisor Ensight UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Environmental Management (Sustainable Development) with Honours 2010 SALARY RANGE Minimum $70 000 Maximum $120 000 Average $90 000

“As well as the significant cultural challenges we faced, the project was made all the more interesting by the regular visits from baboons and the occasional elephant to the site office.” Andrew feels his program gave him the foundational skills and knowledge needed to take his career in a number of different directions. The flexible nature of the Bachelor of Environmental Management allowed him to choose electives which helped him further his skills in carbon and energy management, and prepare himself for his chosen career path.


Taking numbers to new highs

Rachael’s knowledge of numbers provides a high-flying career with Virgin Australia. Determination and networking skills helped to make Rachael Barnes’ career in the Aviation industry take off. Rachael works in this small and competitive field as an Aircraft Performance Engineer for Virgin Australia. The first step toward her career was a dual Bachelor degree in Science and Engineering. Rachael majored in Mathematics and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, gaining invaluable scientific and problem-solving skills. “My Bachelor of Science provided the fundamental scientific knowledge of maths and physics and my Engineering degree has helped me apply this knowledge to specific real-world problems,” she said.

Rachael Barnes Aircraft Performance Engineer Virgin Australia UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) 2009 Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) 2009 SALARY RANGE Salaries are negotiated and may vary depending on location, experience and size of organisation.

At UQ Rachael enjoyed studying with peers and lecturers who were passionate about numbers and physics, and she developed a network of colleagues and friends who have continued to support her in her career. After graduating as a Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineer, she spent 5 months designing Air Conditioning systems. Rachael graduated during the Global Financial Crisis when there were few jobs for graduates, but she used her determination and UQ networks to secure her first job and then make the move to her chosen field. “I got my first Aeronautical job through a great friend who also studied Aerospace Engineering at UQ,” she said. “He recommended me to his company and 2 or 3 weeks later I was working for them as an Aeronautical Engineer. They knew that UQ graduates had the right skills to succeed in the company.” After a year and a half in that position Rachael moved on to her current role as an Aircraft Performance Engineer for Virgin Australia. “I calculate and provide take-off and landing data for pilots for day-to-day operations,” she said. “This means determining the required speeds for take-off based on airport conditions such as temperature, runway length, pressure and mass of aircraft, and the maximum landing weight.”


“I also test the integrity of new applications that calculate these values and provide technical support for pilots where necessary.” Rachael acknowledges that her role is technically challenging, and can require her to use Engineering, Mathematics and programming skills simultaneously. “This diversity keeps the work interesting. The people I work with are amazing and I enjoy coming to work each day,” she said.

A career that radiates dedication

Making a positive difference to the lives of cancer patients is Joanne’s goal. Working in a team environment to combat one of the world’s most mysterious and frightening diseases is all the motivation that Joanne Thomas needs to return to work each day. As a Radiation Oncologist Registrar, Joanne is responsible for assessing patients with cancer by clinical evaluation and prescribing the appropriate levels of radiation therapy, imagery and tests. It is also Joanne’s duty as a medical specialist to establish a management plan for each patient and monitor their progress during treatment. “We get to see a variety of patients in Radiation Oncology and I enjoy being able to make a positive difference at such a difficult time in their lives,” she said. “Every patient is different and no two cancers are the same which makes for an interesting and challenging workplace.” “The overall survival rate for most common cancers in Australia has increased by 30% in the last 20 years due to modern advances in treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy”. Joanne’s tertiary study experience began at UQ in 2004 when she enrolled in a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biomedical Science. The program laid the perfect foundation for a young student interested in pursuing a career within the health sciences. “The program offered multidisciplinary topics relevant to medical sciences including cell biology, anatomy, pharmacology, biochemistry and biophysics,” she said.

Joanne Thomas Radiation Oncology Registrar Radiation Oncology Queensland St Andrew’s Hospital, Toowoomba UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery 2010 Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) 2006 SALARY RANGE Average $100 000 Qualified Radiation Oncologist: $300 000

“The availability of interactive learning spaces and online learning resources was also a great feature.“ Joanne studied a further four years with the UQ School of Medicine, completing a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 2010. Post-graduation, Joanne worked as a Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital from 2011 to 2012. During this time she was exposed to multiple departments including emergency surgery, paediatrics, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology. “I chose to pursue Radiation Oncology because it provides a good balance between clinical and practical experiences and it is a field that has a strong focus on research, which I think is important,” she said.


Directing the future of agriculture and food production

A passion for agriculture and business fuelled Sarah’s international career. Sarah Meibusch’s Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UQ was the foundation for a successful career in life sciences business development. “The basic scientific rigour that was taught in the program has helped me in a variety of life science fields,” she said.

Sarah Meibusch Deputy Director – Business Development and Engagement Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours 1998 SALARY RANGE Minimum $120 000 Maximum $180 000 Average $150 000

“I probably didn’t really appreciate the scientific writing and statistics assignments at the time, but they have been invaluable in my career as they taught me to question and understand different fields.” After completing her agricultural science degree, Sarah continued her studies at Cornell University in the United States, completing a Master of Professional Studies focussed on commercialisation. She then became the second employee in a biotechnology start-up company, Pyxis Genomics. “I made my way to Chicago having never been there before and with just my suitcase,” she said. “My first job was to turn on the phone lines. As the business grew over the next three years I was very fortunate to learn valuable business skills from some very experienced people around me.” Sarah went on to become the Vice President of Business Development at Progen Pharmaceuticals, an oncology drug development company in Brisbane, then Chief Operating Officer of Commercialisation at the Australian Beef Cooperative Research Centre. Her undergraduate science training gave her an advantage when applying for these jobs and her current role at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI). As the Deputy Director of QAAFI, Sarah maintains relationships with stakeholders and helps to create new business opportunities. The role combines her passions for science, business and working with people.


It also brought her back to UQ, where QAAFI is based, and where her career path started. “For me, university was far more than the content of the lectures. It provided me with career-shaping experiences and a network of friends that will last a lifetime,” she said.

The right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy ( Paracelcus 1493-1541 )

Using data to improve the quality of drug treatment for patients is Sarah’s goal. Translating clinical research into practical outcomes is all in a day’s work for Sarah McLeay. Sarah is the Assistant Director and Senior Pharmacometrician at pharmacometrics consulting company, Model Answers. Sarah completed her Bachelor of Science, Honours and PhD at UQ, and earned a number of prizes and awards. She received the Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement in every semester of her Bachelor degree, a UQ University Medal, postgraduate research scholarships and awards, and the Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence. With her record of academic excellence and highly respected qualifications, Sarah was offered her first job as a Research Assistant at the Queensland Brain Institute two weeks after finishing her Honours degree. “The research group at the Queensland Brain Institute employed me when they heard I had experience with DNA extraction and PCR,” she said. “I was able to use these techniques, which I’d learned in my Honours degree, in order to study neural pathway development in mouse models.” Sarah’s next role was researching pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the UQ School of Pharmacy which evolved into her PhD project. During this project she investigated the problems with anaesthetic dosing strategies for obese patients. By the time she completed her PhD Sarah had a job waiting for her at Model Answers. In this job she manages data, analyses the results of clinical trials, writes reports, travels internationally to liaise with clients, and manages other staff. To Sarah, the best thing about her job is that the work she does actually improves people’s lives.

Sarah McLeay Assistant Director and Senior Pharmacometrician Model Answers UQ Qualifications PhD (Pharmacometrics) 2011 Honours (Biomedical Science) 2005 Bachelor of Science (Drug Design & Development and Pharmacology) 2004 SALARY RANGE Minimum $70 000 Maximum $170 000 Average $100 000

“The science we do every day is actually ‘making a difference’ in the world,” she said. “Pharmacometrics involves quantifying drug, disease, and clinical trial information to do things such as confirm that a drug dose is safe.” “We work with drugs that are used for high blood pressure, cancer, HIV, and many other diseases, and analyse clinical trial data from all over the world.” The challenge and variety of her career keeps the highachieving Sarah motivated. “Every project is different, and I never stop learning!”


Marine scientist takes career to new depths

Technical diving skills and scientific knowledge proves to be a winning mix for Lynda. Diving deep in cold, dark water off Tasmania to gain commercial diving qualifications was a highly challenging but rewarding experience for Lynda Curtis. The extra diving training, combined with her marine science qualifications from UQ, meant that Lynda was licensed to conduct large scale marine monitoring programs for various mining, port and gas developments in Western Australia.

Lynda Curtis Senior Marine Scientist Sinclair Knight Merz UQ Qualifications PhD (Zoology) 2010 Honours (Zoology) 2002 Bachelor of Science 2000 SALARY Minimum $70 000 Maximum $140 000 Average $90 000

Lynda initially studied a Bachelor of Science and then completed her Honours in Zoology. Her first position was a Scientific Support Officer role for the Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchment Partnership. “This was an entry level position that gave me exposure to ecosystem health monitoring and community and stakeholder engagement,” she said. After a few years in the workforce, Lynda returned to UQ to complete a PhD. “My Honours year and PhD consisted of intensive long term field surveys during which time I developed my skills in scientific diving, marine monitoring and project management,” she said. “The positions that I have secured in industry since graduating have had a strong focus on these skill sets.” Today, as a Senior Marine Scientist for Sinclair Knight Merz based in Perth, Lynda’s experience spans across a number of marine environments. “In my current role I have managed and safely implemented long term field programs including water quality compliance and coral health monitoring, intertidal and subtidal benthic primary producer habitat (BPPH) assessments, coral spawning assessments, mangrove rehabilitation studies and sediment sampling surveys,” she said. “I am also involved in the production of scientific publications, reports and plans for dredging management, marine fauna, invasive marine species and oil spills.”


Lynda’s position also requires finely-tuned skills in project management, to manage teams of employees and ensure that programs adhere to company procedures. The aspects of her role that Lynda particularly enjoys are travelling, learning new skills and collaborating with other professionals on interesting projects.


Transforming scientific knowledge into commercial products puts the world at Michelle’s feet. At only 22 years of age, University of Queensland science graduate Michelle Chee was already managing her own project in Bangalore, India. As one of five students offered an International Business Cadetship with the Queensland Government, Michelle was invited to work overseas for a five month period as a consultant for a Queensland Government industry partner. Michelle was partnered with Cook Medical, a privately owned U.S. multinational medical device company whose Asia Pacific headquarters are based in Brisbane. “I performed market research into regulatory structures, research and development and manufacturing opportunities,” she said. “I first came across the Cadetship on the UQ Careerhub website. I didn’t think I would be chosen for the Cadetship because I had no international business qualifications, but the opportunity sounded so exciting that I applied anyway.” “Fortunately, Cook Medical recognised the value of my science degree to their organisation.” After completion of the Cadetship, Michelle was offered a position with Cook Medical. Michelle believes her science degree helped her application stand out amongst the rest. “Employers value transferrable skills such as problem solving and analytical skills that are acquired and developed throughout the UQ science program,” she said. “My qualification has also given me the technical knowledge to understand and appreciate the company’s products and innovation pipeline in the medical device industry.”

Michelle Chee New Technology Associate Cook Medical Australia UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) 2011 SALARY RANGE Minimum $50 000 Maximum $130 000 Average $110 000

Michelle’s passion is transformational research where fundamental scientific knowledge is “transformed” into something of commercial value. She looks forward to working on more projects where she can apply science innovation to a business context to contribute to the sustainability and future international growth of the company.


Halting disease drives career in healthcare

Sadiq’s passion for health brings new hope for disease sufferers. Bringing a new product to patients in need is Syed Sadiq AlJoffri’s favourite part of his role as an Associate Product Manager with Bayer HealthCare. Sadiq studied a Diploma in Biotechnology at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in his home country of Singapore before moving to Australia and The University of Queensland to study a Bachelor of Biotechnology. “Having a degree in biotechnology from UQ allowed me to apply for jobs across many different sectors, including research laboratories and pharmaceutical sales,” he said. “My knowledge of signalling pathways and basic cellular functions gave me an edge when I applied for my first position with my current employer and I still make use of the skills I gained in my degree.”

Syed Sadiq AlJoffri Associate Product Manager (Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia) Bayer HealthCare, Singapore UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) 2002 SALARY RANGE Salaries are negotiated. May vary depending on location and experience.

When Sadiq finished his degree he returned to Singapore and spent four months working as a relief teacher before taking on his first role at Bayer HealthCare in Sales. In this role he worked directly with medical practitioners, selling Bayer products and discussing the uses and benefits of each product to patients. Sadiq has achieved five promotions within the company, moving from Sales to Sales Manager, and into his current position as Associate Product Manager for Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia where he manages the distribution of a new pharmaceutical drug for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). “AMD is a common eye condition in people over 50 years of age and the leading cause of blindness in the developed world,” he said. “The macula is responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to see objects clearly; as it degenerates it becomes impossible to read, drive and recognise faces.” Sadiq is responsible for creating the marketing strategy for this product. He works with a number of teams to ensure that the product is registered and that stocks arrive in these countries in a timely manner. “What I most enjoy about my job is the independence and responsibility entrusted to me as the manager of a product,” he said.


“My studies in biotechnology gave me the ability to understand a product scientifically and the business skills to market it successfully.”

Science and students a great career mix

Inspiring future generations of scientists in the classroom is Cally’s career goal. A love for science and the enthusiasm to share it with others made teaching a natural career choice for Cally Nielsen. She studied a dual Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degree at UQ, majoring in the teaching of Biology and Chemistry. “The support and enthusiasm of my lecturers allowed me to find my true passion for science,” said Cally. “My program gave me many opportunities to work with people at the top of their field who willingly gave their time to develop my scientific understanding and share their passion with me. The ‘real-world’ approach of UQ helped me to develop self-confidence and gain valuable experience in my discipline.” During her first year of study Cally completed a practical observations placement at Tennyson Special School and was asked by the Principal to remain on staff as a casual teacher aide. She worked at the school throughout her degree gaining valuable exposure to classroom practice. In her fourth year of study her UQ lecturer asked Cally to assist in developing a new Biology course for the School of Distance Education. Her role involved researching and analysing potential resources to enhance the course. Cally’s demonstrated ability and varied experience helped her to find employment before graduating. “My academic performance and UQ qualification led to a number of permanent full-time employment opportunities prior to graduation,” she said. “My first role was with Education Queensland as a Science/ Mathematics teacher at Lockyer District High School. I enjoyed the collegial approach to teaching and developed support networks which have assisted me throughout my career. This role provided me the opportunity to enhance my classroom confidence and expand my teaching areas.”

Cally Nielsen Head of Science Kepnock State High School UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Zoology) 2006 Bachelor of Education (Secondary) 2006 SALARY RANGE Minimum $93 671 Maximum $98 395 Average: depends on number of years of experience

Cally is now the Head of Science at Kepnock State High School where she leads a team of 18 Science Teachers and Scientific Operations Officers to run and develop the Faculty of Science at the school. “I credit a lot of my success in my career to the support I received throughout my degrees at UQ,” said Cally. “I love that I have the potential to inspire a passion for Science in hundreds of young lives every year. I truly believe that Science is what makes the world go round, and is something everyone deserves to learn about at whatever level interests them.”


Finding the fundamentals

Discovering new applications for fundamental physics is James’ vision. James Bennett is a young physicist who is looking to find new applications for the emerging area of quantum technologies, but physics wasn’t his initial interest. “During my first year of study in a Bachelor of Science at UQ I hadn’t decided on a major, so I took a little bit of everything and tried to keep my options open.” In his second year he decided to major in physics.

James Bennett PhD Candidate Queensland Quantum Optics Laboratory UQ School of Mathematics and Physics UQ Qualifications Bachelor of Science (Physics) with Honours 2012 SALARY RANGE PhD Scholarships available – please check with UQ for details

“I think that it is really beautiful that we can summarise so many natural phenomena using the very minimalist framework that physics supplies. This aspect of physics wasn’t really apparent to me until I had finished my first year at UQ,” James said. As a high school student, he had successfully entered the individual final of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge and as a result, was invited to spend a week in a lab at UQ to get first-hand experience of neuroscience in action. Additionally, between high school and university, he participated in a research project in computational neuroscience at UQ. “What I had seen of UQ before coming here as a student was encouraging: a research-focused university with links to the community at many levels,” he said. As part of his undergraduate studies, James participated in a number of projects dealing with the latest areas of physics research. “In addition to a sound knowledge of core physical concepts, my time at UQ has given me the opportunities to work in real research laboratories, present at an international conference, meet researchers in a variety of fields, and learn from enthusiastic lecturers, tutors and peers,” said James. James has commenced a PhD in the Queensland Quantum Optics Laboratory at UQ where he will attempt to use cold gas and lasers to put a small oscillating mechanical device into “bizarre” quantum mechanical states which aren’t observed in everyday life.


For instance, in the “Schrodinger’s cat” state, the device exists in two different locations simultaneously. Coaxing the device into these sorts of states will allow sensitive tests of quantum mechanics, and could have applications in future quantum information networks.


Virtual Scientists

To find out about the diversity of research careers in science, visit the UQ Virtual Scientists. In a short video, each scientist explains their research, its impact and why they enjoy their careers as researchers. View the Videos at or scan the QR code on your smart phone.


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Start your science career at UQ Undergraduate Bachelor of Advanced Science Bachelor of Agribusiness Bachelor of Agribusiness/ Applied Science Bachelor of Agricultural Science Bachelor of Applied Science (Agronomy) Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Production) Bachelor of Applied Science (Crop Production) Bachelor of Applied Science (Equine Management) Bachelor of Applied Science (Equine Science) Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture) Bachelor of Applied Science (Production Animal Science) Bachelor of Applied Science (Urban Horticulture) Bachelor of Applied Science (Veterinary Technology) Bachelor of Applied Science (Wildlife Science ) Bachelor of Biomedical Science Bachelor of Biotechnology Bachelor of Business Management/ Science Bachelor of Economics/Science Bachelor of Engineering/Science Bachelor of Engineering/Biotechnology Bachelor of Environmental Management (Natural Systems and Wildlife) Bachelor of Environmental Management (Sustainable Development) Bachelor of Environmental Science (Earth Resources) Bachelor of Environmental Science (Ecology) Bachelor of Environmental Science (Molecular and Microbial Science) Bachelor of Environmental Science (Natural Resource Science) Bachelor of Food Technology Bachelor of Information Technology/ Science Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety Science Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning Bachelor of Science (Animal and Veterinary Bioscience) Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Bachelor of Science (Bioinformatics) Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)

Bachelor of Science (Biophysics) Bachelor of Science (Chemical Sciences) Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) Bachelor of Science (Computational Science) Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) Bachelor of Science (Ecology) Bachelor of Science (Food Science) Bachelor of Science (Food Science and Nutrition) Bachelor of Science (Genetics) Bachelor of Science (Geographical Science) Bachelor of Science (Geological Sciences) Bachelor of Science (Marine Science) Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) Bachelor of Science (Microbiology) Bachelor of Science (Physics) Bachelor of Science (Plant Science) Bachelor of Science (Psychology) Bachelor of Science (Soil and Plant Bioscience) Bachelor of Science (Statistics) Bachelor of Science (Zoology) Bachelor of Science/Arts Bachelor of Science/Education (Secondary) Bachelor of Science/Journalism Bachelor of Science/Laws Bachelor of Veterinary Science Postgraduate Graduate Certificate Programs Biotechnology Bioinformatics Agribusiness Agricultural Studies Animal Studies – Animal Science and Management Environmental Management Food Studies Geographic Information Science Magnetic Resonance Technology Molecular Biology Plant Protection Regional Development Rural Systems Management Science – Financial Mathematics; Human Movement Science; Mathematics; Physics; Statistics Urban and Regional Planning Veterinary Studies – Tropical Animal Health and Production; Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology

For program and courses information visit

Graduate Diploma Programs Agribusiness Agricultural Studies Animal Studies – Animal Science and Management Biotechnology Environmental Management – Conservation Biology; Conservation and Natural Resource Management; Sustainable Development Food Studies Geographic Information Science Magnetic Resonance Technology Molecular Biology Plant Protection Regional Development Rural Systems Management Science Financial Mathematics; Human Movement Science; Mathematics; Physics; Statistics Urban and Regional Planning Veterinary Studies – Tropical Animal Health and Production; Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology Masters Programs Agribusiness Agricultural Studies Animal Studies Bioinformatics Biotechnology Conservation Biology Environmental Management Food Studies Geographic Information Science Magnetic Resonance Technology Molecular Biology Occupational Health and Safety Science Plant Protection Regional Development Rural Systems Management Science Urban and Regional Planning Veterinary Studies Doctorate Programs Biotechnology Research Programs Higher Doctorate Programs Agricultural Science Science Science in Forestry Veterinary Science Research Higher Degrees Doctor of Philosophy Master of Philosophy



Agriculture Akilah Dorris Kieren McCosker Rose Brodrick Emily Litzow Sarah Meibusch Agribusiness Tiffany Jorgensen Stephanie Cook

16 24

Animal / Vet Science Catherine Tiplady Andrew Breed Guyan Weerasinghe Rachael Nasplezes Bonny Cumming Robyn Stenner Sarah Rossiter

13 15 35 36 42 51 52

Biological Science Stefan Klose Carmel McDougall Cameron Schofield Devi Stuart-Fox Lynda Curtis Biomedical Science Caroline Chan Shannon Culley Meggie Voogt Elise Webb Angela Jensen Joanne Thomas Sarah McLeay


20 27 28 48 56

Biotechnology Lauren Bragg Fazren Azmi Ahilya Mathew Michael Bodner

11 18 23 43 58

21 29 37 45 50 55 57

26 33 46 47

Chemical Science Michelle Chee Syed Sadiq AlJoffri Cally Nielsen

59 60 61

Earth Science Duncan Scott Kirsten Aitken

17 30

Environmental Management & Planning Chiara Wood 14 Jorge Acevedo 19 Chris Maddox 25 Jaryd Collins 31 Sophie Clay 34 Jasmin Lightbody 41 Andrew Wilson 53 Environmental Science Leigh Bennett Tia Northfield

10 44

Food Science Anneline Padayachee


Mathematics Eleanor Foxcroft Maithili Mehta Julia Bruerton Jason Werry Rachael Barnes

12 22 38 49 54

Physics James Bennett


Plant Science Annastasia Kawi Paul Berkman

32 39

The Faculty of Science at The University of Queensland distributes the materials presented in this publication as an information source only. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the materials herein. All use and reliance upon the information in this publication is at the user’s own risk and without any express or implied warranty given by The University of Queensland. There is no guarantee given as to the accuracy and currency of any information in this publication but profiles and salaries were correct at time of printing in July 2013. The University of Queensland does not accept any liability (including liability for negligence) to any person for any loss or damage (including without limitation, direct, indirect, punitive, special, economic or consequential) whatsoever incurred as a result of reliance upon or use of the information and material contained in this publication.


Faculty of Science The University of Queensland Phone +61 7 3365 1888 Fax +61 7 3365 1613 Email Web Published 2013 – CRICOS Provider Number 00025B

Careers that started in science  

Careers that started in science reveals a broad range of career opportunities. The science graduates profiled have used their qualification...

Careers that started in science  

Careers that started in science reveals a broad range of career opportunities. The science graduates profiled have used their qualification...