Speakers Profile - Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith

Astronomer, Author & Broadcaster, Australian Government Women in STEM Ambassador

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Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astrophysicist, author, broadcaster, board member, and occasional ultra-marathon runner. As the Australian Government's Women in STEM Ambassador, she works across industry, government and education sectors to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and maths by removing barriers to their professional and educational advancement. She is a strong advocate for workplace inclusion for LGBTQI+ people.

As a member of advisory board of the Australian Space Agency she works at the cutting edge of Australia's space industry and works closely with Commonwealth agencies to support Australia's skills growth in STEM industries. She is also a member of the advisory group for Questacon - Australia's national science centre.

Lisa has a Master of Physics and a PhD in Astrophysics, and has spent 20 years conducting research into the birth and death of stars and cosmic magnetic fields using some of the largest telescopes in the world, publishing more than 50 peer-reviewed research papers. She is a former Project Scientist at the CSIRO for both the Square Kilometre Array, a global project to build the world's most powerful radio telescope to peer deep into the history of our universe, and the $188M Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope.

Harvey-Smith has won both the Australian Museum's Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Australian Science Research and the CSIRO Chairman's Medal. She was named in The Sydney Morning Herald's Top 100: Most influential and The Age's Who Mattered lists.

She is the author of six books for adults and children, including the international bestseller Under the Stars: Astrophysics for Bedtime which won the Singapore Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Royal Society's Young People's Book Prize, the Indie Book Awards, the Children's Book Council of Australia and Booktopia's Favourite Australian Book.

Lisa is a talented speaker, MC and performer with a passion for communicating science and its real-world outcomes to non-specialists. She was a presenter on the ABC's popular television show Stargazing Live and appeared in several international documentary series including Life of a Universe with Brian Cox. Lisa has presented a National Press Club address, a TEDx talk and over 300 keynote presentations.

She has emceed major events including the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science at Australian Parliament House and toured theatres across Australia with her live stage show "When Galaxies Collide". Harvey-Smith hosted live tours including Gene Cernan: Last Man on the Moon and Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo. She featured in Buzz Aldrin: Mission to Mars and An Evening with Neil De Grasse Tyson and presented her own show Star-gayzing for Sydney Mardi Gras.

As a keen recreational athlete Lisa enjoys the adventure and challenge of ultra-marathon and multi-day races. Her achievements include winning the Narrabeen All-Nighter 12-hour race in Sydney in record time, running a gruelling 250 km in the Simpson Desert and once, completing four marathons in a single day. She has also completed the famous Comrades Marathon (89km) in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa three times.