Women attend Seoul science camp
A speech from the President of South Korea, Park Guen-hye, was one of the highlights of the BIEN2013 conference in Seoul for Waikato University PhD student Talia Hicks.
Talia, a former Matamata College student, was one of two New Zealand tertiary students who attended the two- day science camp for young women scientists from Asia Pacific region and BIEN2013, the International Conference of Woman Scientists and Engineers.
About 500 women from 16 mainly Asian countries attended this year’s BIEN.
President Park, who has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, stressed the need to encourage girls into science and engineering, and give them plenty of support.
‘‘We really need to make sure girls are well-informed in their choices for study and careers in the maledominated areas such as science and engineering,’’ said Talia.
‘‘They need to be prepared for the reality of the workplace, particularly outside New Zealand.’’
The conference was held to highlight some of the recent achievements of women in the fields of bio, nano, information, environment, space and convergence technologies. There was also emphasis placed on the need for organisations where women scientists and engineers can network, collaborate and share ideas.
‘‘All the women at BIEN had a story about how they got to where they are, and the struggles they had to get there,’’ said Talia.
‘‘It was great to hear how they had worked around some of the issues.’’
One of the best things about the trip for Talia was the contacts she made, particularly with University of Auckland’s Emily Hargrave-Thomas, and a wastewater engineer from India and Chinese scientist looking to prove the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine.
Talia has a BSc in Chemistry, an MSc(Tech) and for her PhD is working on a project to decolour bloodmeal used in making bioplastic.
Back from adventure: Former Matamata College and PhD student Talia Hicks.