A hop, skip and a jump towards diversity in STEM

Hopper Down Under Group
Friday 26 July 2019

A group of students, professional and academic staff from the College will be travelling to the inaugural Hopper Down Under Celebration in Brisbane, Queensland on 29 – 31 July.  An initiative which ANU is proud to be a platinum sponsor.

Hopper Down Under is modelled on the AnitaB.org Grace Hopper Celebration, aimed to empower women technologists across the world. It brings together women at all levels, along with members from industry leading companies, academia, and research; to build relationships, learn, and help advance careers.

Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. She was a pioneer of computer programming, and she popularised the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today. You can read more about the fascinating life story of Grace Hopper here.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to striving for equity in engineering and computing though our transformational Reimagine project. We are proud to support this initiative as a champions for inclusive spaces for women in tech. 

Executive leaders of the College will be in attendance, including Dean Professor Elanor Huntington, Director of the 3A Institute Genevieve Bell, Dr Lesley Seebeck, Professor Tony Hosking and Professor Steve Blackburn.

The College granted ten students a travel bursary to allow them to attend the conference.   

Dr Penny Kyburz from the ANU Research School of Computer Science said that the opportunity to go to the conference is an invaluable opportunity to champion women in STEM.

“I think it’s really important to create a space for women to have an opportunity to be heard and put their thoughts forward. Often you feel not very included or a bit crowded out in computer science and technology, and it is really important to create that space to allow women to come forward and to shine and to be heard, and to create those support networks.”

Dr Kiara Bruggeman from the ANU Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering (RSEEME) is attending the conference.  “I’d like to see what everyone else has done, and what we can do as we go into Reimagine and we have the opportunity to make a lot of changes and grow in a good way” she said.  

Dr Bruggeman is excited to meet and collaborate with other women in her field from around the region.

“It’s good to see, especially from an engineering standpoint to get to go to a place where we there are a lot of female faces in engineering.  Which is something that we don’t always see in our classrooms and offices day to day. Just to know that we are a strong mighty force, and together we can achieve a lot.”

The College is a platinum sponsor of the conference, and is thrilled to be supporting an event that prioritises diversity in STEM.

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing