Women in engineering

For young researchers early in their career, attending conferences is an essential way of presenting their findings and building a network of supporters, mentors and professional colleagues. 

Elyse Passmore’s opportunity came through a bequest from Dianne Lemaire, the first woman to graduate from the University of Melbourne with an Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) in 1942. She left a gift in her will to support young women undertaking a PhD in engineering.

Elyse’s research demonstrates the forces at play in the joints of children with lower limb deformities. Using 3D motion analysis, medical imaging data and her biomedical engineering expertise, Elyse creates 3D musculoskeletal models that are critical to the decisions of physiotherapists and surgeons caring for patients at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital.

Profile of Elyse
The Dianne Lemaire Scholarship provided such an important opportunity to travel to conferences here and overseas at the end of my PhD and present the findings of my research.

“Conferences are vital for our scientific community to exchange ideas, meet others working with similar technology and exchange data. Conferences are where we share our knowledge with the end-goal of delivering better outcomes for our patients," says Elyse.

Like Dianne Lemaire, Elyse is also passionate about encouraging young women to consider a career in engineering.

“When I was in high school I thought that engineers built bridges. I didn’t really know what was possible. My parents were always supportive, so I simply followed what I enjoyed and excelled in.”

Elyse is now one of several young women presenting at a ‘Girls in Physics’ series to promote the opportunities of a career in engineering to young women in high schools. She is committed to honouring the legacy of Dianne Lemaire and others who have forged a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

“Dianne Lemaire was a trailblazer for women in engineering. Not only through her career as a leading aeronautical engineer but also the foresight she showed setting up support for future women in engineering. Her example has certainly inspired me to be proactive about encouraging other women to consider engineering as a career. What she did was so against the grain and honouring that legacy is important.”

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