On Wednesday 12 February, Aoibh, Emily, Pia and Mrs Spizzo arrived at the UniSA City West campus ready to learn about and celebrate chemistry at the IUPAC Global Breakfast hosted by the SA RACI Women in Chemistry Group.
Upon arrival, we were treated to a lovely breakfast and a chance to network with fellow Chemistry high school students, university students, academics and female chemists who work in a range of industries. Following this, we entered the presentation room where we were introduced to the IUPAC through an engaging chemistry video from the head of the IUPAC association. We listened to Prof. Marnie Hughes-Warrington (Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise, University of South Australia) who talked about how her father inspired her interest in chemistry from early childhood. His influence and her interest in chemistry, impacted her future career paths and choices later in life. Although a philosopher and a historian, her current role requires her to design and deliver approaches that allow research students and academics to engage with industry, government and the community to deliver novel and transformational solutions to problems, and to change the ways that we think about the world. Next, we heard from a variety of speakers, who increased our awareness of the work of South Australian chemists and the impact they have on our daily lives. Some examples of current research in Chemistry included studying the effect of smoke from recent bushfires on grape vines so as to gain a better understanding of how to reduce smoke taint in wines; the use of nanodesign materials to build tiny devices which detect bladder cancer cells in urine; grow stem cells and help with the recovery of oil and gas for the mining sector.
We would like to thank the College for giving us the opportunity to expand our view of possible future career pathways that studies in chemistry can lead to.
Aoibh, Emily and Pia
Year 12 Chemistry Students