UNSW Canberra’s Bianca Capra is a ‘Superstar of STEM’

UNSW Canberra’s Bianca Capra is a ‘Superstar of STEM’

UNSW Canberra Senior Lecturer Bianca Capra has been named one of Science & Technology Australia’s Superstars of STEM.

 The aerospace engineer will join the program aimed at smashing society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increasing the public visibility of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“Aerospace engineering really is as exciting as it sounds and is limitless in how it continues to shape our collective future,” Dr Capra said.

“I get to work in all these areas and am passionate about promoting my industry. Unfortunately, we are living in an age where a lot of young women and girls do not consider a career in STEM, let alone aerospace engineering. More worryingly, they are opting out of such careers early in their education, limiting the diversity, insight and lived experience required for scientific advances.”

Dr Capra said successful, enthusiastic and passionate female STEM role models have a strong influence on young women, but many struggle to name prominent Australian female STEM role models.

“If as a society, we want to address the cultural and societal biases that continue to limit the engagement of women with STEM, it is imperative we address the lack of gender parity in our high-profile STEM role models.”

Launched in 2017, Superstars of STEM will equip 150 female scientists and technologists with advanced communications skills and provide them with genuine opportunities to use these skills – in the media, on the stage and in speaking with decision makers.

Dr Capra is one of 60 inspiring women who will participate in the 2019/2020 program.

Professor Emma Johnston AO, President of Science & Technology Australia, said the women would no longer be hiding their scientific superpowers, and would share them with as many Australians as possible following the launch.

“Each Superstar will connect with hundreds of school children; feature in local, national and international media; and serve as a representative for their work, their discipline and their sector,” she said.

“We are extremely proud to have seen hundreds of capable, skilled, confident women apply for the program, and really look forward to sharing the stories of these impressive 60 Superstars with the world.”