ANU engineer Dr Naomi Mathers has won an Engineering Excellence award for her work as Industry Liaison Engineer at Mount Stromlo’s Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC).
The accolade was announced at the inaugural Women in Industry Awards on 25 June in Sydney.
Dr Mathers, from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, says she was surprised and humbled to receive the recognition.
“When you looked at the quality of the candidates, it was such a strong field and every one of the finalists deserve to be recognised for the work they do,” she says.
“So certainly it was an honour to be awarded amongst that company, but I would have loved to have seen everybody get an award.”
Dr Mathers believes she was chosen for a few reasons, including going through aerospace engineering at a time when there were few women in the field and working on an area of space research where she was the only Australian working in that area.
“At the moment I don’t do my own engineering research, but what I do is create new opportunities for others,” she said.
“Because I’ve worked across research, education, policy and industry, I can bring these together to make a positive impact on the industry.”
The awards also help to raise the profile of the new Mount Stromlo facility, Dr Mathers says.
“The new space test facilities at the AITC are a national resource. They will support great advances in space engineering research and help us support the translation of research into commercial opportunities,” she says.
“It’s important to showcase that new capability we have, hoping to open new doors especially for international collaboration because it is a very international industry.
“The push at the moment is how we establish a prosperous but sustainable industry so it’s constantly promoting opportunities for the industry, research and training.”
To commemorate the opening of phase two of the AITC, the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics is hosting a series of workshops to showcase the facility’s capabilities. Register for the event via eventbrite.