Francesca is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM, driven by her experiences in engineering and a love of understanding, communicating, and solving complex problems.
She has delivered notable keynotes for Male Champions of Change at the National Press Club, Defence Science and Technology Group Inspiring Speaker Seminars, YWCA She Leads High Conference, and Women In Communications Blooming in STEM Breakfast, as well as a variety of other forums including the Australian Public Service STEM Working Group and the ANU STEM Teaching & Learning Colloquium.
For her contributions to promoting gender equity in STEM, Francesca was named 2018 ANU Postgraduate Student of the Year, 2017 ACT Young Woman of the Year, and was one of 30 Australian women with STEM PhDs to be selected in Science&Technology Australia’s inaugural Superstars of STEM. She was also a participant in Layne Beachley’s Rising Stars Mentoring Program, and is an up-and-coming profile within the media, featured in the Australian Financial Review for her work in gender equity, and appearing on ABC News Breakfast in 2018.
Francesca is currently a Consultant in Advisory Services at the independent engineering firm Arup, and an Engineer in Residence at the Engineering Practice Academy at Swinburne University of Technology.
Francesca completed her PhD in tissue engineering, investigating biomaterials to control the inflammatory response of the brain after traumatic injury. During this time she co-founded Fifty50, a student-led movement at the Australian National University (ANU) promoting gender equity in STEM, which was named Engineers Australia’s Best Student Group in Gender Diversity in 2017. She was also awarded the ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Tutoring in 2017 after educating over 300 undergraduate engineering students during her time at ANU. Francesca also holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Bachelor of Science (’13) with First Class Honours from the ANU.