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Aspiring Defence scientists gather in Adelaide

20 February 2020

Close to ninety aspiring Defence scientists have gathered in Adelaide for DST's annual student conference, DSTEM.

The conference brings together students who have undertaken placements at DST in the preceding 12 months, including industry experience students, summer vacation students, and cadets.

This year close to 90 students attended the event which is being held over two days at the University of Adelaide.

The Chief Defence Scientist, Tanya Monro, opened the DSTEM conference and students heard first-hand about the direction for DST, the growing appetite for science and technology and how the outcomes of DST's work are highly valued.

Since its inception in 2016, DST has continued to build on and evolve the DSTEM conference to provide maximum value to the students.

"Not only is it a great way for the students to finish up their placements at DST, it's a chance for them to network amongst themselves and hear from industry leaders and senior Defence representatives," said DST's Director Science Capability and Talent, Maree Mahoney.

A core component of the conference is the requirement for all students to present on the research they have been working on. As aspiring researchers, this is invaluable preparation for a career presenting at scientific conferences.

"Our placement programs are focussed on setting our students up for success," Ms Mahoney said.

"Not only do the students get to work on leading edge research with world class scientists.

"We provide each of them with intensive 'scientific pitch' training to ensure they have the skills they need to successfully articulate and present their research in a clear and engaging way."

Student programs are an important component of Defence's STEM talent pipeline, with a number of students going on to take on permanent positions.

Cyber security researcher, Amy Stringfellow is one who after a summer placement with DST went on to become a STEM cadet which evolved into a permanent full-time role.

"I wanted to be able to serve Australia in a direct way and working in Defence allows you to tackle problems that don't appear in any other area," she explains. Read more about Amy's story on the Careers with STEM website.

More information about DST's student programs is available from the DST Scholarships and Placements page.