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Digital science migration engineer (AI)

Kiowa is a proud Dja dja Wurrung woman using her tech expertise to help Defence scientists

Almost every scientist on the planet needs to use computers, but not all scientists are computer experts. That’s where Kiowa comes in. As a digital science migration engineer at DSTG, she uses her AI and supercomputing skills to help scientists solve problems.

“I love this job because I get to work with scientists from every background, which means I’m always learning something new!” she says.

Although tech might be her 9-5 these days, Kiowa wasn’t always sure she’d work in STEM.

“I love making art, writing poetry and I also loved studying philosophy at university,” she says. “When I realised that being creative and communicative was a really important part of STEM, I felt like it was the right place for me.”

She studied maths at uni and says this made it easier for her to understand computers and scientific problems. And as for working in Defence? She chose it so she could learn from the many clever people who work there:

“There is a lot of support to grow and learn in Defence, whether that’s trying out a new job, going back to university or just having a chat with someone interesting.”

Kiowa says she’s only ever met one other Aboriginal woman working in tech – and changing that situation is important to all her Defence co-workers.

“Being diverse means I’m extra-interested in listening closely to different perspectives and ensuring everyone is included, which means we can learn more from the people we work with and create solutions which work for as many different people as possible,” she says.

Kiowa believes there’s a job for everyone in Defence and recommends soaking up as much knowledge as possible: “Don’t be afraid to attend a career day and ask lots of questions about the careers that might interest you.”

Kiowa’s study and career path to becoming a digital science migration engineer

  • Bachelor of Arts/Science
  • Scientific computing cadet, CSIRO
  • High performance computing consultant, Monash University
  • Digital science migration engineer (AI), DSTG
  • Masters in Cyber Security as a recipient of an ATSE Elevate Leadership scholarship

This article was first published in Careers with STEM: Defence 2023. For more Defence role models, head to our STEM + Defence role model hub!

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