Sally McArthur is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Swinburne University and a CSIRO OCE Science Leader in Biomedical Manufacturing. Originally imagining a career in law, Sally had a change of heart when her art teacher suggested materials engineering – a discipline which only 8 other students enrolled in when she commenced at Monash.
In her final year of engineering Sally took an elective unit in Biomaterials and fell in love. Chasing her interests, she went onto complete a Masters in Biomedical Engineering.
During this time the biomaterials aspects of the course were taught by scientists from CSIRO, and she vividly remembers jumping out of her chair in excitement when her lecturer shared an opportunity to work as a technician. Sally went onto work under the direction of Hans Greisser in the CSIRO’s Biomaterials and Surface Engineering area focusing on extended wear contact lenses where she relished the real world application of her studies.
On completion of her PhD Sally relocated to the University of Washington in the United States. This was a period of intense learning and collaboration with both industry and academia – Sally was in awe of the leaders she was fortunate to collaborate with.
In addition to her research, Sally worked on the curriculum development of one of the top 5 Bioengineering programs in world. This expertise led to her relocate to the UK for 6 years when an institution required her expertise in building and delivering a new program in the field.
For the past 9 years Sally has held a variety of leadership positions with Swinburne University. While in the position of Associate Dean of Research she developed a peer-to- peer mentoring program to encourage PhD students to support each other and share new ideas.
When mentoring others, Sally focuses not only on fixing today’s problems but strives to develop new perspectives and resilience of her mentees so they are equipped to navigate the future.
Over her career Sally has attracted over $20 million in funding from research councils, industry and government in Australia and the UK – she offers a unique perspective from a portfolio career and her various academic leadership roles at Swinburne and her position with the CSIRO.
Sally loves being part of the global science community and exploring new ways to create a new generation of entrepreneurial and internationally connected graduates.
Throughout everything she does Sally’s ethos is ‘why not’ and seizing opportunities that give you energy.