Dr Jiawen Li

Fellow of NHMRC, Heart Foundation and L’Oréal-UNESCO

The University of Adelaide

Dr Jiawen Li is an inventor and a highly adaptable engineer. She believes that convergence of knowledge leads to innovations. She uses her expertise in optical engineering to build hair-sized endoscopes to explore the nooks and crannies of the body’s organs, leading to early and accurate diagnoses of various diseases. She has won numerous prestigious national/state awards and has secured >$3 million research funding as the lead chief investigator.

Dr Li received her Bachelor’s degree from Zhejiang University (China). In 2010, she moved to the USA for her PhD training at University of California Irvine and worked at a world-leading medical device company. She moved to Australia in 2015 for postdoctoral training, and is now a Senior Lecturer, NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow, Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, and L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellow at University of Adelaide.

Working in the male-dominated field of engineering, in both academia and industry, in three countries, Jiawen experiences the challenges of being a female engineer and understands the power of peer support, mentorship and role models. Despite being a busy academic mum, she still actively participates in media interviews and hosts interactive lab tours for the public, to increase the visibility of women in engineering and encourage more girls and women to ‘play big’.

Dr Jiawen Li is a Superstar of STEM.