STEM Careers in Industry: Postdoc Destinations

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Presented at the Royal Society of Victoria in partnership with ATSE’s Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS).

IMNIS Mentees and RSV PhD Student Members are invited to attend this special night to hear from scientists who have taken the leap into industrial, government and other non-academic settings, making use of their STEM skills and experience to lead and excel in a range of rewarding, specialised roles.

An expert panel will discuss a range of careers beyond academia and include key advice on transferable skills, the ‘soft’ skills, the value of a professional network, potential jobs of the future and their top tips for career success. Leave your comfort zone and think big about future careers in STEM!

There will also be an opportunity to network over food and drink with industry mentors from the IMNIS program to gain some solid insight and advice on your options for future careers that make meaningful use of the skills you’ve honed as an early career STEM researcher.


Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea, IMNIS Executive Director, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Mike Flattley, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Society of Victoria


Dr Richard Huysmans

HuysmansDr Richard Huysmans is driven by the challenge of building outstanding careers beyond the PhD. He knows what it takes to transition out of academia, into entrepreneurship, having done so himself. He has also helped with 100s of researchers, so is equally adept at building grant success, growing collaboration, engaging industry and obtaining funding. His strategic approach brings the research and business sectors together to ensure careers have impact. He works with researchers and entrepreneurs in roles such as Research Manager, Centre and Institute Director, Deputy and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research and Faculty Manager. Recent projects have included building research teams, translating research into practice, engaging industry and establishing and reviewing research centres.


Dr Michael Wilson

With a BSc from Monash University and a PhD in immunology from the University of Melbourne, Michael Wilson now heads up the Molecular Biology division at CSL Ltd. Formerly at GSK, he is an experienced pharmaceutical professional who has successfully developed and led drug development project teams for a range of clinical indications including inflammatory conditions, airway disease and oncology. He has a strong interest in the drivers of the constantly evolving pharmaceutical sector.

Dr Jennifer Henry

After a childhood spent fossicking in gardens and creeks, and being dragged on bushwalks by her intrepid parents, Jennifer Henry studied agricultural science at the University of Melbourne. After several years with the Victorian Department of Agriculture and with a private agricultural media company, she returned to graduate school at the University of Melbourne, earning her PhD in the genetic engineering of transgenic crops. She then spent nine years as Editor in the scientific journals division at CSIRO Publishing, then two years as a Publishing Manager at Nature Publishing Group in New York. This was followed by five years at the New York Academy of Sciences, where she was responsible for organising over 40 scientific conferences per year across the life sciences, spanning structural biology, genome integrity, biochemical pharmacology and neuroscience.

Wanting her two daughters to have an Australian education and upbringing, Jennifer and her husband returned home to Melbourne at the end of 2014, and joined the Advancement team at the University of Melbourne, which focuses on engaging alumni and raising philanthropic support for research and scholarships. In her current role as the University’s Bequests Manager, she builds relationships with alumni and friends of the University who have chosen to leave a gift to the University in their Will, and liaises with colleagues across the University to roll out research grants and scholarships from realised estates. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys running, wine appreciation, wood chopping and kid-wrangling.

Dr Catherine de Burgh-Day

Catherine did her BSc, Masters and PhD all at the University of Melbourne. She went into her BSc with the intention of majoring in meteorology, but very quickly got distracted by the wonders of astrophysics. She went on to complete a Masters and then a Phd in astrophysics studying weak gravitational lensing. Things have come full circle and she now works at the Bureau of Meteorology, where she has been a software developer on the Bureau’s super computer systems, and is currently in the research department developing applications for seasonal forecasting of sea surface temperatures around New Zealand for aquaculture industries. Catherine likes to keep her eggs in many baskets, and firmly believes in always keeping your options open – after all, who knows what the universe might throw your way?

Dr Krystal Evans

Dr Krystal Evans was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the BioMelbourne Network in July 2014 and has over 15 years experience in the biomedical research sector. Krystal’s skills in government affairs, stakeholder relations and business development underpin her commitment to advancing Victoria’s unique position as a global destination for life sciences and health technology. Krystal is a leading advocate for science and technology, and was a founding member and Chair of the Australian Academy of Science’s Early and Mid Career Researcher Forum. A champion of the 2011 “Discoveries Need Dollars” campaign, she led the Melbourne “Rally for Research” to protect funding for medical research in Australia. Krystal is an articulate and popular spokesperson, and is a regular presenter on Melbourne community radio station 3RRRFM’s science show “Einstein A-Go-Go”. Krystal has an undergraduate degree in medicinal chemistry and holds a PhD in medical biology. Formerly, Krystal led a malaria vaccine development program at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, which attracted funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NHMRC and Commercialisation Australia. In this role she was responsible for positioning lead malaria vaccine candidates for progression into early-phase clinical trials.