What an amazing year 2017 has been! The Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) started as a small-scale pilot and this year has expanded to over 400 IMNIS participants from around Australia with 200+ motivated PhD students and 200+ industry leaders.

With our partners MTPConnect and AusBiotech, we have launched the IMNIS MedTech-Pharma Program in QLD, NSW, VIC and SA, the Minerals Resources program in WA and QLD with METS Ignited, and the Energy Resources program in WA and SA with NERA. There are 14 Universities enrolled and six of these are running more than one program area. We have hosted multiple state-level events and presented at numerous symposia, and excitingly, we will do it all again in the New Year!

We have now reached half way in most IMNIS programs. The impact industry mentors are having on their mentees is clear. Already, mentees are more confident communicating and networking in a room full of high-level industry professionals, and early feedback from our recent national Pulse Survey only confirms their gratitude and appreciation for their mentors’ professional support and guidance. Thank you all for your strong commitment to mentoring and collaboration.

Through our website and social media platforms, the public profile of IMNIS has increased and we now receive regular enquiries from students, early career researchers and new potential mentors – our broader IMNIS Network has grown to over 500 professionals in a range of STEM disciplines, including IMNIS Alumni, Champions and Expert Advisors, ATSE’s leadership, University liaisons, and more. To our facilitators, panellists and speakers – thank you again for your time and valuable contributions. We are also grateful to our Partners, Sponsors and Supporters for their engagement and support.

Holiday reading from our blog: From academic to startup founder – so far, so good. Dr Iwan Cornelius, founder and Managing Director of Amentum Defence and Security shares sound advice on the transition from academia to entrepreneurship. You can also meet IMNIS mentee Jomana Al-Nu’airat from Murdoch University in Western Australia who says, “I was struggling to communicate with industry… So through IMNIS I’m ready to learn!” A reminder we are on Twitter (@_IMNIS) and Facebook so you can keep track of the latest events, blogs and profiles. Hashtags are #IMNIS #mentoring #STEMcareers #industry #leadership. Blogs, profiles and more are available at our website: imnis.org.au.

Finally, my thanks to the IMNIS team, Dr Janet Yeo and Ms Sarah Hayward. They are excellent colleagues committed to mentoring and collaboration.

So on behalf of the team – best wishes for the festive season. Wishing you all much rest and relaxation. See you in 2018 for more industry mentoring!

Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea, PhD

IMNIS Executive Director

Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering