Francesca Maclean

Challenging the status quo for diversity and inclusion in STEM.

Francesca Maclean

Consultant, Engineer, Disrupter

About Me

Francesca is currently a Consultant within the Integrated Cities Planning team at the independent engineering firm Arup, where she manages strategic projects delivered for Federal and state governments, as well as private clients within the built environment. She also leads the diversity and inclusion of the Swinburne Engineering Practice Academy and the Bachelor of Engineering Practice (Hons) as an Engineer in Residence.

Francesca completed her PhD in tissue engineering, investigating biomaterials to control the inflammatory response of the brain after traumatic injury, presenting her work at international and domestic conferences. During her PhD, Francesca co-founded Fifty50, a student-led movement at the Australian National University (ANU) promoting gender equity in STEM, which was named Engineers Australia’s Best Student Group in Gender Diversity in 2017.

In 2017 Francesca was named ACT Young Woman of the Year, one of Science&Technology Australia’s inaugural Superstars of STEM, and the 2018 ANU Postgraduate Student of the Year. During her undergraduate and PhD Francesca was a passionate educator and was awarded the ANU VC’s Award for Excellence in Tutoring upon her graduation from her PhD. Francesca also holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Bachelor of Science (’13) with First Class Honours from the ANU.

Francesca has delivered notable keynotes championing diversity and inclusion, including for Male Champions of Change at the National Press Club, Digital Technology Agency, Defence Science and Technology Group, and YWCA She Leads High Conference. She has also spoken at a variety of other forums including the Australian Public Service STEM Working Group, the ANU STEM Teaching & Learning Colloquium, and with the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine.

Combining her love of understanding, communicating, and solving complex problems, and her personal experience as a woman in engineering, Francesca is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM, hoping to influence the next generation of scientists to make STEM a more inclusive and diverse environment for everyone.


Doctor of Philosophy (Tissue Engineering)
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)
Bachelor of Science

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