Three UOW students claim sought after Google Scholarship. 

Three of UOW’s best and brightest have been recognised by tech-giant Google as part of the 2017 Women TechMakers Scholars Program.

Alanna Vial (Bachelor of Electrical Engineering), Rhiannon Grace Bolton (Bachelor of Computer Science) and Lexie Condon (Bachelor of Computer Science) have been selected to travel to South Korea later this week to engage in discussions about how to improve female leadership in tech fields.

The memorial scholarship came about in recognition of the leadership work by Anita Borg, who promoted the representation of women in the field of computer science.

The award recognises the achievements of students who are studying computer science and/or working on outreach programs to support and increase the number of women interested in computer science.

Alanna Vial and Rhiannon Grace Bolton currently work as STEM ambassadors for UOW, supporting school outreach activities and promoting women in STEM.

Alanna, currently undertaking a PhD with UOW’s School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering (SECTE) and one of UOW’s STEM ambassadors, initially chose to study electrical engineering as she wanted to improve people’s lives through developing new technologies – and to prove that a girl can do just as well as any boy (her father and brother are both electrical engineers).

“As I progressed through my degree I learnt more about how programming can be useful in developing new technologies and I was inspired to develop assistive technologies, hence I made a dementia care fall- assist wrist band,” she said in her application.

“After completing an internship at Cochlear I became even more excited about the possibility of using programming to improve people’s lives by developing technologies that assist deaf people to hear.”

Earlier this year, Alanna was involved in the UOW STEM camp for girls, participating in the camp as a group leader and mentor. She discussed her research and showed how programming and electronics can be used in humanitarian projects to report floods in Jakarta and prevent unnecessary deaths or injuries. She is an executive of the women in STEM society and has run seminars on unconscious bias in the workplace.

The students will be attending the Google office in South Korea from 29 August to 1 September 2017.


Words by Emilie Wells. Originally published in UOW Newsroom