Meet Emma - future leader, gifted oboist, Fogarty Scholar and newly converted ‘canoe polo’ enthusiast.
Emma (she/her) has had a wild ride since winning her Fogarty scholarship in 2020. Firstly, starting uni in the middle of the COVID pandemic put the brakes on her travel plans, so she dug into the UWA community and joined clubs, played music and signed up for committees that focussed on practical solutions to address climate change. Now currently on exchange, Emma has knuckled down on her passion for a greener future by spending her exchange studying Chemical Engineering and Physics at the National University of Singapore (NUS). We sat down with Emma to get the lowdown on what makes a Fogarty Scholar tick. Turns out, she is ambitious, with some inspiring and powerful views on the best ways to use leadership, economics, and clean energy science to make a contribution towards reaching net zero.
"I am currently undertaking an exchange semester in Singapore and am looking forward to learning about Singapore’s attitudes towards clean energy. I am also hoping to play oboe in the NUS Symphony Orchestra and try out a few different sports – so far, I have tried captain’s ball, swimming and canoe polo!"
At the moment, I am learning as much as I can about clean energy, particularly the potential of green hydrogen and ammonia technologies because Australia has a unique role to play in helping the world decarbonise with our abundance of solar and wind resources. A challenge this size cannot be achieved by individuals working alone, so I am a strong believer that international collaboration will be critical. I want to use the skills that I am gaining through my studies to facilitate the collaboration and cooperation necessary to achieve the technical advances that we need to reach net zero.
While producing green hydrogen requires a large amount of capital and detailed engineering design, Emma described a few actions everyone can take to make their contribution.
Australia has a major task to electrify every home in this country using technologies including induction stovetops, electric cars, and heat pump water heaters. The economic benefits of converting to these technologies are increasing rapidly and can save people money in many cases.
Fogarty scholarships are about inspiring the thought leaders of tomorrow and Emma tells us that one of the best parts about her involvement with the Fogarty Foundation has been the network of fellow students and experienced mentors she can learn from:
Meeting the other scholars and hearing their stories really has opened my mind to the multitude of opportunities that are out there for me. Many Fogarty scholars do incredible things while at university, but you don’t have to do everything that everyone else is doing. Older scholars have a wealth of experience, so don’t be afraid to talk to them – based on my experience, they are always willing to have a conversation or answer a question. Also, make sure you network outside of the Fogarty community and use the opportunities that come your way through this experience to meet as many insightful leaders as you can and learn from them.
We asked Emma if she could imagine herself doing anything else. She told us, “if I wasn’t studying engineering, I could probably focus on my passion for music. My cousin and I love to jam together (she is an awesome singer) so that’s probably where I’d be."