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Microengineering specialist

Coco - microengineering specialist

Coco uses her material science smarts to help develop incredible new tech for the ADF

A STEM career in Defence was not on Coco’s radar until she had a chat with a Defence rep at her uni’s careers expo. After heading home to do some research, she realised it would be an awesome – and fulfilling – path to follow. Coco went on to score a spot in the Defence Graduate Program (Research and Innovation Pathway), which runs for a year and
allows graduates to experience two rotations in different teams. “Joining through the grad program was such a great experience,” she says.

Now working in micro- and nanoengineering at DSTG, Coco and her team perform device
miniaturisation and materials research to develop emerging technologies for the ADF.

Small scale

As a microengineering specialist, Coco performs photolithography – a patterning technique that uses light-sensitive polymers. “This must be done in a particle-controlled lab called a ‘cleanroom’ to preserve the integrity of the micro-scale features,” she explains.

Coco encourages anyone thinking about a STEM + Defence career to use internships to find out what they like (and don’t like!). “Defence offers cadetships to students who perform well in their first year of university, which can give you a guaranteed job when you graduate.”

Coco’s path to becoming a microengineering specialist

  • Bachelor of Advanced Science (Materials Science) (Honours)
  • Defence Research and Innovation Graduate, DSTG
  • Microengineering specialist, DSTG

This profile was originally published in the special edition of Careers with STEM: Defence. Find more STEM + Defence role models here!

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