For most young people, following your career dreams to another country is the ultimate dream – let alone being at the cutting edge of research in your field of expertise.
Alinta Energy – CEF Young Achiever Dr Grace Causer, from Young in NSW South West Slopes, is doing just that at only 28 years of age.
Currently living in Germany and working at the Technical University of Munich, Dr Causer is a postdoctoral researcher investigating the electronic and magnetic characteristics of nanoscale materials, and how atomic-scale disruptions could be used to tune the performance of future computing devices. This is work that many of us may not understand nor often think about, but that could ultimately have a profound impact on our digital future.
Grace received grants from the Country Education Foundation of Young in 2012 and 2013, providing assistance during the latter years of her Bachelor of Science (Advanced) Physics degree at the University of Wollongong. With a multitude of academic and university awards to her name, she was the highest-ranking graduate in the Physics discipline for her year.
After graduation, she undertook a PhD in physics. This work had her travelling the world to present talks at conferences and publishing an incredible 14 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals.
While her work currently has her seemingly worlds away from home, she hopes to one day return to Australia, saying she would like to “forge my own research group and train the next generation of young scientists”. It is foresight like this that makes young people like Grace inspirations not only to students but to rural and regional communities, a shining example of what is possible and how important it is to aim high.
2019 Alinta Energy – CEF Alumni Awards:
- Alinta Energy – CEF Alumnus of the Year: Lee Constable, Harden
- Alinta Energy – Community Champion: Molly Dennis, Goulburn
- Alinta Energy – CEF Rising Star: Saul Brady, Great Lakes
Just like many CEF alumni, Grace is grateful not only for the financial assistance that allowed her to concentrate on her studies, it was more than that.
She says: “The grant from CEF was more than just financial aid, in that, as the grant was provided by the local community, I then felt supported by my local community. I encourage all past recipients to reconnect with CEF as I believe it is important link in the chain that will allow current students to see where they could go, and what they could become, with the help of CEF.”
Grace says that for the moment her work means she is unable to live in a regional area, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to her. “I think it is extremely important to give back to the local community, and when I am in a position to do so I will certainly be giving back to CEF,” Grace said.
For someone so young, Grace already has so many achievements to her name, a great future ahead given she is wise beyond her years.
When asked what advice she would give to young country students aspiring to further education, she says: “Find what you are passionate about. Follow that passion, and persevere through the tough times, because the reward at the end is certainly worth it!”
Connecting with CEF is a powerful way for Alumni to maintain contact with their local foundation and be inspired by like-minded students. Catch up with CEF on Facebook and join the CEF Alumni private group. Also Follow CEF on LinkedIn and Instagram.