Francesca Maclean, Superstar of STEM

Dr Francesca Maclean

Consultant & Engineer in Residence

Arup Australia and Engineering Practice Academy at Swinburne University of Technology

Francesca is a Consultant at Arup, an independent engineering firm working to shape a better world and an Engineer in Residence in the Engineering Practice Academy at Swinburne University of Technology.

In 2017 Francesca finished her PhD in Engineering at the Australian National University (ANU), which she pursued after completing a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Bachelor of Science in 2013 at ANU.

Francesca's PhD focused on designing biomaterials for brain repair. During her PhD Francesca was an active educator of undergraduate engineering students, being awarded the Dean's Award for Excellence in Tutoring in 2016, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Tutoring in 2017.

Francesca is a passionate advocate for gender equity in STEM and in 2015 co-founded Fifty50, a student-run gender equity movement. Francesca led a team of 30 undergraduate students to promote gender equity through a strengths-based approach and is now Strategic Director.

She has spoken about her engineering research and gender equity in STEM at the National Press Club for Male Champions of Change STEM, in the Inspiring Speaker series at the Defence Science and Technology Group Science, Science in ACTion for National Science Week, Women in ICT, Pint of Science Canberra and ANU STEM Teaching and Learning Colloquium. Francesca is an active mentor in her community including through formal programs such as the Fifty50 First Year Mentoring Program, Peer Support Program and MSI's Curious Minds Program.

In 2017 Francesca was awarded ACT Young Woman of the Year for her contributions to improving the lives of women and girls in the ACT and received a YWCA Great Ydeas grant to bring industry, academia and government together to increase the pace of change for gender equity in STEM for the inaugural Fifty50’s Big Ideas Breakfast: Gender Equity by 2025.

Francesca hopes to influence the next generation of scientists to make STEM a more inclusive and diverse environment for everyone.