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Science Superstar honour for PhD student

Research | Newsroom

University of Tasmania PhD Candidate Mars Buttfield-Addison has been named a Superstar of STEM in a prestigious national program that promotes the achievements of women in science and technology.

A computer scientist and software engineer, Mars’ work on adapting astronomical radio telescopes to track debris or ‘space junk’ was showcased on the world stage at the Falling Walls conference in Berlin last month.

Mars said she was thrilled to have been chosen from a highly competitive national field.

Mars Buttfield-Addison Dish
PhD Candidate Mars Buttfield-Addison.

I am honoured to be selected and very excited to take part in the program. Especially in the age of ubiquitous technology, it is so important for there to be effective, diverse, and expert communicators around computer science and technology impacts.

“I am thrilled to be able to represent the University and Tasmania, and I look forward to meeting the rest of the Superstars for 2023/24,” she said.

University of Tasmania Executive Dean of the College of Sciences and Engineering, Terry Bailey, congratulated Mars on her achievement.

“Superstars of STEM is a fantastic initiative and Mars will be an excellent role model for all scientists, particularly inspiring young women and girls,” he said.

Mr Bailey said Mars’ expertise in the area of engineering, computer science and physics had been instrumental in a number of collaborations for the University of Tasmania, including the recently announced University of Tasmania-Firmus partnership funded under the Tasmanian Government’s Space Technology Seed Fund program.

Mars is one of 60 diverse and brilliant scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians who want to step into the media spotlight as STEM experts. They will be officially announced today by the Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic MP.

Mars Buttfield-Addison tile

Minister Husic congratulated the newest Superstars of STEM on stepping into the public arena to help inspire the next generation of diverse young Australians into STEM.

“The need to boost diversity in our science, technology, engineering and mathematics sector is urgent,” he said.

"There are huge skills shortages that can be addressed if we put our minds and collective effort to it – which means we have to draw deeply on our nation’s expertise from all corners of the community.”

Superstars of STEM is an initiative of Science & Technology Australia funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources. Through a highly competitive selection process, the program selects 60 women and non-binary STEM experts and gives them the training, confidence, networks and experience to become sought-after media commentators as experts in their fields.

About Science & Technology Australia
Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 105,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our  flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.