Australia is building its space industry virtually from scratch. We need to train up thousands of space professionals to meet the Australian Space Agency’s goal of creating 20,000 new jobs in space by 2030. We can’t do this if we don’t attract and retain both men and women in the space industry better than we do today. This is made particularly difficult by the barriers placed before girls and women at all levels in education and in the workforce in STEM industries such as space.

We’re bringing in an all-star, all-female panel of scientists, executives, engineers, and educators who are working or have worked in space and other STEM industries to discuss this challenge.

We’re kicking off with a talk by Christine Fuller on her space robotics work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We’ll then begin Q&A with our panel, including Christine. Joining our panel are Shannon McConnell and Rachel Zimmerman Brachman also from NASA’s JPL. Our panel is rounded off by Debra Brice, (Marine Science Educator, San Marcos Unified School District) and Aude Vignelles (Executive Director Program, Capability at the Australian Space Agency). Our panel is moderated by Emily Rozanc, Student Ambassador at One Giant Leap Australia and upcoming leader in the space industry.

Join us and be a part of the discussion!

Christine Fuller – Fmr Robotics Design Engineer, NASA JPL & Product Design Engineer, Amazon Lab126
Christine Fuller is a mechanical engineer specialising in robotics and mechatronics. During five years at JPL she tested gecko adhesive grippers on the zero-g flight, a rock climbing robot in lava tubes, and an underwater robot beneath the sea-ice in Alaska. Now she is working at Amazon’s Lab126 on emerging technologies.

Aude Vignelles – Executive Director (Program and Capability), Australian Space Agency
Aude Vignelles is the Executive Director, Program and Capability, of the Australian Space Agency. As part of the senior executive team, Aude leads and is responsible for maintaining awareness of the state of the art for the Australian space industry, supporting strategic priority setting and delivering on domestic and international activities.

Shannon McConnell – Deep Space Network Public Engagement Manager, NASA JPL
Shannon has been introducing students to the excitement of space exploration since 1998. She has led the Galileo Outreach Team, the Cassini Formal Education Team, and the Deep Space Network Education and Public Outreach Office.

Debra Brice – Marine Science Educator, San Marcos Unified School District
Debra Brice has been a Marine Science educator for more than 25 years. She has taught primary through university level classes in STEM sciences in San Diego, California, Alaska and Mexico. She currently instructs 229 students in physics, chemistry, atmospheric and marine science.

Rachel Zimmerman Brachman – Outreach Lead for Radioisotope Power Systems, NASA JPL
Rachel Zimmerman Brachman has worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on various Education and Public Outreach projects since 2003. Currently she is the outreach lead for Radioisotope Power Systems (the power technology that enables NASA’s spacecraft to explore the outer planets in our solar system) as well as JPL’s project manager for Project PANOPTES.

Emily Rozanc – Student Ambassador, One Giant Leap Australia
Emily is 17 years old and attends St Mark’s Catholic College in Stanhope Gardens. Thanks to the One Giant Leap Foundation Australia (OGL) and the US Embassy, she had the opportunity to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in both October 2017 and 2018. These trips have given her a glimpse into her future and the possibilities in the growing world of STEM as an engineer and leader through her student ambassadorship.