Science, technology, engineering and maths offer some of the coolest jobs on – and off – the planet.


We’re sharing the inspiring stories of successful experts who use STEM in their daily jobs.


Find out how they got their dream jobs and what you need to get yours! Come behind the scenes in this series of short films and hear from all our experts about how to follow your passions an build an exciting future for yourself – and the planet!

April 2, 2024 • 2.5 mins

Cool Jobs: Flavour Chemist and Sensory Scientist

Participant: Professor Heather Smyth

Professor Heather Smyth is a flavour chemist and sensory scientist who has been working with premium food and beverage products for more than twenty years. Based out of The University of Queensland, Heather works towards understanding consumer enjoyment of foods and beverages in terms of both sensory properties and composition. Current projects involve specialty coffee, beer, wine, native plant foods, cocoa, premium beef and seafood, tropical fruits, cereals, dairy products and some processed products and snack foods.

Heather also specialises in researching how human physiology and psychology can impact sensory perception and therefore food choice. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Adelaide, as well as a Bachelor of Science from the University of Adelaide.


April 2, 2024 • 2.5 mins

Cool Jobs: Sustainability & Climate Change Specialist

Participant: Estefania Arteaga

Estefania Arteaga is a Sustainability & Climate Change Specialist who focuses on climate change adaptation, planning and implementation. In her current role with the Gold Coast City Council, she is focusing on closing the gap between theory and practice in climate change adaptation. Her career has allowed her to work alongside decision-makers in cities across Latin America in the development of strategies to reduce emissions and climate change-related vulnerabilities.

A Griffith University alumni, learn about Estefania’s fascinating career and involvement in the United Nations World Adaptation Science Program, and discover more about this cool STEM job.


April 2, 2024 • 2.5 mins

Cool Jobs: Dark energy and dark matter

Participant: Professor Tamara Davis AM

Dark energy and dark matter are among the most profound puzzles facing fundamental physics. The University of Queensland’s Prof Tamara Davis is an astrophysicist who studies the elusive “dark energy” that’s accelerating the universe. With over twenty years in the field, she’s measured time-dilation in distant supernovae, helped make some of the largest maps of the galaxies in the universe and monitored hundreds of supermassive black holes.

Tamara did her PhD at the University of New South Wales on theoretical cosmology and black holes, then worked on supernova cosmology in two postdoctoral fellowships, the first at the Australian National University (collaborating with Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory) and the second at the University of Copenhagen, before moving to Queensland to join the WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey team working on mapping the galaxies in the universe. When not staring into space, she’s representing Australia at the World Championships for Ultimate frisbee!


March 15, 2023 • 5 mins

Cool Jobs: Astrophysics

Participant: Dr Michael Cowley

Many people dream about our universe, but QUT’s Dr Michael Cowley gets to study its secrets! For Michael, studying science has allowed him to travel the world, using telescopes from all corners of the globe.  Michael started out working in banking, but a career change (and study in astrophysics) lead him to research galaxies and supermassive black holes.

There’s no typical day for Michael, from writing lines of computer code to observing the galaxy through the world’s most powerful telescope to teaching hungry young minds about the mysteries of our universe. Researching how supermassive black holes impact the evolution of galaxies through cosmic time? Now that’s a (supermassive) cool job.

March 15, 2023 • 5 mins

Cool Jobs: Data Management

Participant: Becki Cook

Think data science is just for those who are good at maths and statistics? Think again.  A degree in biology led QUT’s Becki Cook to a career in data science that also allows her to focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander empowerment and engagement in higher education. As Centre Manager at QUT’s Centre for Data Science, Becki supports researchers, academics, students and community to undertake research in data science.

Becki is passionate about her work in Indigenous data literacy, governance and sovereignty – the right of Indigenous peoples to govern the collection, ownership and application about Indigenous communities, peoples, lands and resources. Working with communities through data science to get the outcomes they need? That’s a cool job!

March 15, 2023 • 5 mins

Cool Jobs: Environmental Social Science

Participant: Claudia Benham

A degree in arts and science led The University of Queensland’s Claudia Benham to the Great Barrier Reef. As an Environmental Social Scientist, Claudia gets to see the world through new perspectives – above the water and below.

Claudia’s research studies how environmental problems like climate change impact people and communities, taking her all over Queensland and beyond. By understanding how people use and value the environment, Claudia’s work is helping to develop more effective ways to conserve it.

March 15, 2023 • 5 mins

 Cool Jobs: Quantum Materials

Participant: Professor Ben Powell

Studying physics led The University of Queensland’s Professor Ben Powell to a career in design, inventing new materials at the atomic level. Ben’s work in condensed matter physics investigates what happens when astronomically large numbers of particles interact with one another, helping to design new materials with properties enabling dramatic new technology.

From a love of maths and science to working with switches, superconductors and supercomputers Ben’s work leads him to ask, and answer, some of the biggest questions facing humankind today.

March 12, 2023 • 5 mins

Cool Jobs: Marine Parasitology

Participant: Dr Marissa McNamara

Studying marine parasites led Dr Marissa McNamara to a career as a Collection Manager at Queensland Museum, looking after the museum’s thousands of crustacean specimens and documenting new species of crustaceans in Queensland. It all started for Marissa at age 13 when she was certified as a scuba diver. Captivated by the beauty of coral reefs, Marissa studied a degree in marine biology, specialising in marine parasitology (that’s right, fish parasites!). This opened up a whole new universe of bizarre and wonderful creatures living hidden lives in – and on – fish. Identifying and describing new species gives Marissa a unique window into the evolution of life on earth. Working as a custodian of the state’s natural heritage? That’s a cool job!

March 12, 2023 • 5 mins

Cool Jobs: Creative Technology

Participant: Georgie Pinn

As a digital creative, Georgie experiments with interactive audio-visual experiences in public and cultural spaces. Georgie’s work combines visual arts, interactive technology and science to stimulate social and environmental change. By connecting people through empathy and storytelling, Georgie’s works help people to see through the eyes of another and dissolve bias and prejudice. Georgie achieves this by designing instinctive user interfaces that allow the audience to create and connect as animators and sound designers, no matter their skills. By making science, technology and engineering accessible to everyone, Georgie’s creative work helps people to think about other perspectives on a deeper level, connecting to themselves and others. With the ability to personalise and personify technology, there has never been a better time to be an artist using tech to connect.

1 2 3 4
Sign up to our eNews
Be the first to hear about WSFB news and events