Lute and Melanie

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Lute Mundia

Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering)
University of New South Wales

Lute is an active member of the Women in Engineering Society and is a peer mentor to first-year female engineering students at UNSW. With the growing effects of climate change being felt in Samoa and across the Pacific, Lute sees civil engineering as playing a critical role in developing sustainable solutions to help vulnerable communities prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

Lute hopes to establish educational outreach programs to inspire female students to be the next generation of leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In Samoa, there continues to be a demand for STEM professionals and Lute believes that engaging with students at pre-university level will address this gap.

Dr Melanie Zeppel

Senior Research Fellow, Macquarie University, NSW

Melanie works in data science, modelling the costs and benefits of genomic medicine for childhood cancer, retinoblastoma, genetic eye diseases and other conditions. She also models the costs of informal care due to chronic conditions on workforce productivity, particularly on vulnerable populations.

Melanie has 15 years’ experience in measuring and modelling impacts of drought, elevated CO2 and heatwaves on plant physiology on national and global scales. She has been awarded over $1.9 million in competitive funding, including Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Awards and Discovery grants, and has over 55 peer-reviewed publications. In 2019, Melanie was named Scopus Sustainability Researcher of the Year.