How Ipswich maths wiz plans to 'change the world'
BROOKWATER teen Julia Casa loves maths and technology.
She's among a growing number of women flocking to industries that rely on STEM subjects, traditionally thought of as roles best filled by men.
That's a perception Julia is determined to change and she's already been rewarded for that determination.
Julia's love of numbers has landed her a once-in-a-lifetime leg-up via a partnership between her university and one of Australia's big four.
Queensland University of Technology student Julia was among 35 first year undergraduates to be awarded a technology scholarship through the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.
Each scholarship is valued up to $25,000.
When Julia found out she had been chosen, she was on holiday in Japan.
"I almost cried," Julia said.
"I was so happy. This is probably the biggest achievement of my life so far."
The former Ipswich Girls' Grammar student hasn't decided whether to spend the cash on something exciting - like hardware or a technology seminar - or put it towards cutting down her uni fees.
What she does know, is that she wants to change the world.
"I want to change the gender diversity in the STEM area," Julia said.
"It's mostly been perceived as a male-dominated work area and us women need to get out there. I would like to change that perception.
"I'm not super clear on the specific job I want when I graduate, but I want to head towards encryption, cyber space and cyber security. I want to play a part in keeping everyone's information safe online."
Day to day, Julia's study includes using programs called Mathlab where she inputs functions and variables.
"It's like a super calculator," Julia said.
"They're used in F1 racing to measure things like torque and somehow I am using it at university to input simple equations."
The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is offered in partnership with 11 universities across Australia to drive greater gender and socio-economic diversity in the industry.
It provides financial support, work experience, and networking opportunities to students passionate about technology and innovation.