Katrina Wruck

PhD Researcher and Sessional Academic


Don't be afraid to fail.

What do you do?

Researching innovative advances in water treatment using natural zeolite and composite materials based on biopolymers

Why did you choose this field?

I have always had a curious mindset and an inherent love for science sparked from watching Sci-Fi from a young age. My interest for chemistry blossomed after watching Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" playing the chemical weapons specialist as he saved the world from total destruction. Now I use green chemistry to purify water and might also save earth.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

As the first of my family to have graduated from a university degree, I wish I knew that a career in academia was possible. There was very little representation from women in STEM growing up; this needs to change. I mentor school aged students that come from disadvantaged backgrounds such as low socio-economic and Australian Indigenous cohorts, as I myself am also Indigenous and lacked these resources.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I enjoy the personal statisfaction that I am able to make impactful change, being apart of the circular economy solution to one of the world's greatest problems. A big driver of my work is the ability to share my passion for STEM with others which will hopefully be a catalyst to ignite social attitude shift towards championing women in STEM.

Best advice for next generation?

Don't be afraid to fail. Failure is an essential part in learning.
Don't be afraid to take risks. Risks are where we can make our biggest advancements.
And most importantly, always believe in yourself.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

Don't dream your life, live your dreams

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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