Our Women in Science & Engineering program supports women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses at VU.

We also work with schools to inspire girls to choose engineering and science careers, running hands-on workshops in STEM disciplines.

Initiatives & objectives

WISE organises activities to welcome and support female students. We regularly run seminars and workshops featuring female engineers, scientists and IT professionals.

We also seek to increase the profile of female engineers and other academics, undergraduate, and postgraduate students in the science and technology fields by showcasing success stories online and on College notice boards.


WISE activities include:

  • regular meetings with current female and male students to encourage engineering students to be mentors for their peers and role models for female secondary-school students
  • participation in events such as Women in Engineering (WIE) in Engineers Australia, IEEE WIE, Victoria, to encourage greater participation of women in engineering and science
  • forums with female scientists and engineers in industry for networking and leadership development
  • collaborations with industry and professional organisations to encourage female students to engage in professional, career-building activities:

  • Staff and students attended the Engineers Australia International Women’s Day event in March.
  • 'Breaking Down Boundaries and Stereotypes' seminar. Presented by Julia Gibney, who has an Aviation Engineering background, with 23 years in the defence industry working in engineering processes, maintenance, administration, auditing, technical risk management and personnel training.
  • The WISE Club @VU was nominated to represent Victoria University at the Women of the World (WOW) Festival in March at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. The club also conducted STEM activities at the Inaugural African Diaspora Women Summit.
  • WISE Coordinator, Dr Juan Shi, and Mr Lovelesh Ramsahye, Industry and Community Engagement Coordinator, met with companies including Carrier Australia Pty Ltd, the Lion group, and the Flight Centre Travel Group's Campus Travel to discuss internship opportunities and graduate programs for students at VU.
  • Dr Juan Shi worked on a STEM Travel Grant Victorian Review Panel, the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy - Women in Mining Network, Women in Aviation Aerospace Australia (AAA), Vicphysics Teachers' Network Inc., Vic ICT for Women, and Optimum Recruitment to promote careers for women in STEM.
  • Many female graduate students found work or secured internships through our industry links.
  • One of our PhD students, Ruwangi Fernando, from the Centre of Applied Informatics, set up and received funding for 'VU STEM Sisters', a group for VU’s female graduate research students.

  • College staff and students attended the Engineers Australia International Women’s Day event in March.
  • Three WISE seminars in May and August welcome and support female students. The keynotes speakers were Vivian Chi from IT industry; Ghofran Al-nasiri, PhD research scientist at VU; and Regina Moran from Beca, former VU Building Engineering student.
  • WISE outreach activities in August to inspire women to choose engineering and science careers through hands-on workshops. The College hosted visits from Keysborough Secondary College and Haileybury College.
  • WISE identified and pursued professional collaborations, celebrating the IEEE Region 10 50-year anniversary in November.
  • WISE-organised STEM seminar at VU in December. Keynotes speakers Professor Petra Lucht and Dr Baerbel Mauss from Center for Interdisciplinary Women's and Gender Studies (ZIFG) at Technische Universität Berlin presented their innovative study program.

  • Engineering-student meetings to discuss peer-mentoring and acting as role models for female secondary-school students.
  • Participated in Engineers Australia’s Engineering Week to encourage greater participation of women in engineering and science.
  • Forum with female scientist Dr Shu-Yen Lee from Davies Collison Cave featured an inspirational talk, 'From Scientists to Patent Attorney - How training in science can lead to alternative careers'.
  • Presentations at VU Women's Collective Women in Science and Engineering Careers Forum by WISE coordinator, Dr Juan Shi; Truc Nguyen, the current Chair of the Engineers Australia Women in Engineering (WiE) Victorian Branch; and Process Engineer at Hexion Pty Ltd.
  • Participated in the National Science Week Energised Fashion Runway and laboratory activities organised by IEEE Women In

Success stories

Contact us