Water engineer secures VC’s Research Fellowship for Women in STEM

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Dr Yali Li examining the leaves of a plant

Dr Yali Li's research focus complements Swinburne's research strength in water engineering.

In summary

  • Dr Yali Li is the newest recipient of a Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship for women in science, technology, engineering and maths
  • Dr Li’s research specialty is water engineering
  • Dr Li will join four other Women in STEM Research Fellows at Swinburne

Dr Yali Li has been announced as the newest recipient of a Swinburne University of Technology Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) disciplines.

Dr Li’s research specialty is water engineering.

Her research interests and past industry experience include solid waste treatment, industrial wastewater treatment, membrane filtration technology, water sensitive urban design, stormwater management, biofiltration with antimicrobial composite, and biomaterials and biosensors.

Dr Li trained at the National University of Singapore and developed novel and low-cost antifouling membranes for water treatment when she worked as a research fellow at the leading Singapore-based water treatment company Hyflux.

At Monash University, she researched nanomaterials in the context of water sensitive design in the quest to develop an innovative and high-performance soil filtration system for stormwater harvesting.

Her most recent research was to develop biopolymer based low-cost, high-performance and environmentally friendly grouting materials.

“My research strength complements the current research strength in water engineering at Swinburne, and aligns well with Swinburne’s research passion on sustainable infrastructure development,” Dr Li says.

“This three-year fellowship will give me time to understand a broad range of real-world problems and refine my research to find innovative and sustainable solutions using advanced materials science.”

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowships for Women in STEM

The Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowships for Women in STEM disciplines are designed to address the critical underrepresentation of women in STEM research and teaching. This program also supports Swinburne’s gender equity strategy.

“This fellowship scheme is evidence of our commitment and contribution to advancing gender equality in academia through coordinated and aligned research and academic strategy,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Aleksandar Subic.

"Through this scheme we are recruiting not only the best women researchers to support and drive our research strategy, but also we are transforming our academic workforce by establishing a better balance across the portfolio.”

Dr Li will be supported by a fellowship grant as well as through mentorship, research training and personal career development, with an underlying on-going position in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Dr Li joins four other Women in STEM Fellows at Swinburne:

    Dr Rosalie Hocking (Chemical Sciences)
    Dr Mahnaz Shafiei (Electrical Engineering)
    Dr Tatiana Kameneva (Biomedical Engineering) and
    Dr Louise Olsen-Kettle (Applied Mathematics)

Swinburne and gender equity

Swinburne received a Bronze Award, the highest recognition available in Australia for its SAGE Action Plan 2019-2022 to improve the attraction, promotion and retention of women and gender minorities in STEM.

The university has long been a champion of gender equity, and for the past ten years has been recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Women through participation in the voluntary WGEA citation program.