The Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Building on the success of the UQ Women in Engineering program, and delivering on our promise to become the leading University of Choice for women in engineering in Australia, our ‘Women in Engineering' Alumni Ambassadors are working in partnership with UQ to develop activities that engage their fellow alumni and foster a sense of UQ community and support amongst engineering graduates (male and female).

Our Alumni Ambassadors will deliver and host a range of social and structured non-exclusive quarterly Brisbane-based events focused on issues of interest and importance for women in the engineering industry.


Meet our Alumni Ambassadors

Bianca Goebel

Bianca Goebel (Chair)

Bianca Goebel is a process engineer and social advocate for the empowerment of youth, women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and the innovation of economic systems to facilitate this. She is passionate about enabling positive change towards the goal of equality of opportunities - in recognition of the diverse reality we live in. 

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Born in Australia to German parents, she graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) in 2011. She spent the last four years working Fly-In-Fly-Out in the oil and gas industry while concurrently continuing to be involved in the non-for-profit sector in both project management and director positions. Currently she is the CEO of NGO Youth Without Borders and is on the UQ Young Alumni Board of Directors. 

Fran Curran

Fran Curran

Fran Curran graduated from a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) and a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) in July 2014. During her time at UQ she worked part time at Energy Developments Limited, held executive positions in two different student societies and was a UQ Engineering Ambassador and a UQ Women in Engineering Student Leader.

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Fran recently started a PhD looking at the inter-connectivity of energy and poverty in developing countries, within the School of Chemical Engineering at UQ. Her PhD will be focussed on the interface between technology and community, as she examines infrastructure heavy sectors and the mistakes that have been made in the past within international development.

Volunteering locally with Engineers Without Borders, she hopes to apply her engineering skills to the international development sector following her PhD.

Kate Heliotis

Kate Heliotis

Kate graduated from The University of Queensland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons). After several years working as an administrator in the design and construction industry, Kate was inspired and motivated to become technically skilled and saw an opportunity to contribute to shaping the world around her through further education and a passion for diversity.

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Benefiting immensely from those who encouraged and supported her decision to study and work in a technical capacity within the design field, Kate recognises the value in connecting with youth, in particularly young women, to help them realise their potential outside of societal and even personally oriented stigmas. Driven by the mantra of "paying it forward", Kate aims to change the perception of what it means to be a woman in engineering by sharing what is possible when you overcome adversity.

As a student, Kate was the Vice President and Project Manager for Power of Engineering, running several events held in regional Queensland which connected high school students with industry while showcasing various disciplines of engineering with keynote speakers and specially designed workshops. Furthermore, Kate has regularly volunteered with STEM and diversity based programs ranging from F1 in Schools to International Women’s Day.

The opportunity to attend UQ has seen her involved across all aspects of the University, from the sporting arena where she played AFL, to volunteering in cultural immersion programs and diversity inclusion such as the Women in Engineering Student Leader program. She is incredibly proud to be a part of the UQ community, and joins the Women in Engineering Alumni committee as the Hawken Memorial Scholar and Kenneth A. Thiess prize winner for the 2016 graduating class.

Pheobe Lindenberg

Phoebe Lindenberg

Phoebe graduated from The University of Queensland in 2010 with a Bachelor of Mining Engineering (Hons). After graduation, Phoebe commenced employment with Rio Tinto Alcan in Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory. Inspired by a passionate and strong manager, who was a strong advocate for women in the mining industry, Phoebe was inspired to lead by example, making sure all females get the opportunity to experience the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

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Upon completing her graduate placement in the Northern Territory, Phoebe commenced a production planning role with Whitehaven Coal in New South Wales for 2 years. She then moved into her current role as a mining engineer in Planning and Technical for BHP Billiton Coal.

Phoebe is a mother to three wonderful boys and has successfully managed a diverse and demanding career with the competing demands of a young family. Phoebe is a strong advocate for working mum's, promoting that women can have both a career and family.

Working in mining, Phoebe has moved regularly around Australia with her family and has always endeavoured to be a strong contributor to the local community. She has always been an active volunteer within the community she is living in. Being an avid cook she regularly runs fundraising for Chicks in Pink and Cancer Council and promotes STEM initiatives in local schools.

Phoebe is a passionate engineer with a commitment to increasing female participation in STEM in schools and at university. Her devotion to community and enthusiasm towards education, networking and mentoring are key motivations for her role on the committee. As an Alumni Ambassador, Phoebe looks forward to engaging further with the community and strengthening the support network for UQ Women in Engineering Alumni.

Samantha Kerr

Samantha Kerr

Samantha Kerr graduated from UQ in 2001 with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Hons). Since graduation, Samantha has been lucky enough to work across three different industries including telecommunications, rail and most recently power. Samantha currently manages innovative projects surrounding substation automation systems to enable the power network of the future in the Engineering Standards and Grid Modernisation team at Energex, which is a part of the Energy Queensland Group. Samantha is a social leader within the industry and strongly advocates for flexibility and diversity within the engineering sector.

Jo Kirby

Jo Kirby

Jo Kirby is a Chartered Engineer who completed her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland. Jo has 13 years’ experience working as both a process design engineer and commissioning engineer on many major projects such as the Gold Coast and Sydney Desalination Plants, Caval Ridge Coal Processing Plant (CPP), South Walker Creek Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) and most recently the QCLNG Coal Seam Gas Upstream Engineering project and commissioning the Santos GLNG Upstream CSG Compression Plants.

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In 2010 Jo joined the Queensland branch of the Women in Engineering (WIEQ) committee and was elected Vice Chair. In 2011 Jo went on to be the Chair of WIEQ and was recognised in 2012 by Queensland Resource Council winning the ‘Resourceful Awards for Women’ Gender Diversity Champion for her work in the committee. In July 2013 and 2014 Jo was the Queensland representative on the Women in Engineering National Committee (WIENC) and in 2015 was elected to Deputy Chair of WIENC and then to Chair in 2016. Jo also currently sits on the Engineers Australia Chemical College Board and Lectures first year engineering students part-time at The University of Queensland.

Jo is a strong advocate of the profession and was part of the organising committee for the Chemeca 2013 Conference held in Brisbane organising the Chem-E-Car competition for university and senior secondary school students. Jo also regularly participates in a number of STEM programs to encourage more students to study engineering such as the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation F1 in Schools program and the Australian Space Design Competition (ASDC) for secondary schools. 

Previous ambassadors

Julijana Bors

Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) 2012

Erin Hughes

Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) 2012

Janet Outhwaite

Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) 2011