- Two Charles Sturt researchers published in booklet profiling female researchers working in science, technology and engineering in regional Australia
- The booklet by the Regional Universities Network was launched on Friday 8 November
- Associate Professor Sandra Savocchia in Wagga Wagga and Professor Robyn Watts in Albury-Wodonga are both featured
The research of two Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) academics has been featured in the Regional Universities Network (RUN) Women in Science, Technology and Engineering in Regional Australia booklet.
RUN is comprised of seven universities including Charles Sturt, CQUniversity, Federation University Australia, Southern Cross University, University of New England, University of Southern Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast.
The booklet was published to highlight important research being conducted by women in regional universities and encourage more women to work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Professor Robyn Watts in the School of Environmental Sciences in Albury-Wodonga, and Sub Dean for Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Science and researcher in the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre in Wagga Wagga Associate Professor Sandra Savocchia, are the first two female researchers profiled in the booklet.
Charles Sturt Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Michael Friend said it was an honour to have Charles Sturt research acknowledged in such a way.
“Academics within the University are conducting important research and whenever we can highlight that it is beneficial,” Professor Friend said.
“The RUN booklet not only showcases the research but promotes the significant role women are currently playing in science, which is vital to entice more women to the field.”
Professor Savocchia’s research sheds light on diseases of grapevines to ensure the longevity of the wine industry.
Featuring her work in the booklet was a way for Professor Savocchia to showcase the industry-relevant research being conducted by Charles Sturt and to gain recognition for herself and her team.
She also wanted to bring attention to the valuable research being conducted in regional universities to inspire current and future students into the field of science.
“Students in our regions or other women will hopefully read these stories and be inspired to pursue a career in science,” Professor Savocchia said.
“I want to be a role model to the research students and the team of researchers that I supervise to uplift them as well.”
Professor Watts leads an inter-disciplinary team that undertakes research on ecosystem responses to the use of environmental water in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Her role involves interacting with water managers, irrigators and community groups to bring together scientific and local knowledge to improve the management of water to improve the health of rivers and wetlands.
Professor Watts cited research that has shown Australia loses female talent at every stage of the STEM pipeline from primary school through to secondary school, university and the workforce.
“I was fortunate that I had several wonderful mentors who have encouraged me throughout my career,” she said.
The booklet highlights exceptional work from rural female researchers, and Professor Watts said it is a step in the right direction of inspiring more women into careers in science.
“The booklet will hopefully encourage young women to see examples of female scientists and help them visualise themselves working in STEM careers,” she said.
The RUN Women in Science, Technology and Engineering in Regional Australia booklet was released ahead of the United Nation’s World Science Day for Peace and Development on Sunday 10 November.
The booklet was launched on Friday 8 November and is available on the Regional Universities Network website.