South Perth wo­man up for award

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Front Page - Bron­wyn Dono­van

SOUTH Perth res­i­dent Dr Marisa Iop­polo-Ar­man­ios is a fi­nal­ist in the 2018 WA Cham­ber of Min­er­als and En­ergy Women in Re­sources Awards.

Dr Iop­polo-Ar­man­ios was nom­i­nated for the out­stand­ing wo­man in re­sources cat­e­gory af­ter lead­ing two suc­cess­ful break­through projects in air and wa­ter qual­ity for Al­coa.

Raised in a tra­di­tional, first-gen­er­a­tion im­mi­grant fam­ily, Dr Iop­polo-Ar­man­ios’ ex­pec­ta­tions for her­self were markedly dif­fer­ent to those of her fam­ily, who thought she would be a hair­dresser.

She said the turn­ing point to fol­low­ing her pas­sion for science was af­ter re­ceiv­ing en­cour­age­ment from a cou­ple of high school teach­ers.

“I re­mem­ber I said to (my teach­ers) maybe I could be a lab as­sis­tant one day and them say­ing to me, ‘No, you are not go­ing to be the lab as­sis­tant – you are go­ing to be the sci­en­tist in the lab and you are go­ing to do some­thing amaz­ing’,” Dr Iop­polo-Ar­man­ios said.

To­day, Dr Iop­polo-Ar­man­ios man­ages Al­coa’s Alu­mina Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­nol­ogy pro­gram.

She also leads the Al­coa Women’s Net­work in Kwinana and said she took her po­si­tion as a role model very se­ri­ously, to con­tinue to break down bar­ri­ers and wave the flag of op­por­tu­nity for women in the in­dus­try.

“I would like to see the world of Stem (science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths) move more to­ward the norm be­ing that women are in the area be­cause of their abil­ity and merit; be­cause they are tal­ented and love do­ing the job, rather than it feel­ing like we have to con­stantly chal­lenge stereo­types and the sta­tus quo,” she said.

Al­coa’s front­line tal­ent de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tive at Huntly Mine has been nom­i­nated as a fi­nal­ist for the out­stand­ing com­pany ini­tia­tive award.

Win­ners will be an­nounced on March 9.

Dr Marisa Iop­polo-Ar­man­ios has led two break­through projects for Al­coa.

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