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UK Submarine Designer Joins NZ Science Festival

UK Submarine Designer Joins NZ International Science Festival

A naval architect for the UK’s Ministry of Defence will join this year’s New Zealand International Science Festival in July.

Currently based at University College London, Lucy Collins will join this year’s panel of international and local guests at the 10th biennial Festival – held in Dunedin from July 8-16 – delivering a public talk on her unique science career and what inspires her on Monday 11th July at 7:30 pm in the Otago Museum Hutton Theatre. Other attractions in the action-packed programme designed to encourage people to ‘be curious’ and explore their world include street science, stunts, interactive demonstrations and workshops.

Says Collins: “I’m a Naval Architect, an engineer who designs, builds and maintains anything that floats. The maritime environment is critical to our society – 90% of all world trade is transported by sea for example – so ship design is really important.”

Specialising in submarine design, Collins is currently completing a PhD, alongside helping to run the MSc in Naval Architecture and the world’s only Submarine Design Course.

NZ International Science Festival Director Chris Green says having a scientist of Collins’ calibre at Sci Fest 2016 is an immense privilege, particularly for inspiring a new generation of women into science.

“Lucy Collins is a great example of just how varied the field of science is. Science can take you into space, with our 2012 Festival guest, NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson, or it can take you into the depths of the sea, with Lucy’s submarines. A career in science really can take you anywhere and in Lucy’s case it is literally places that most of us have never been. We love to showcase how different science careers can be, and Lucy’s is one of the most unique we have ever had.”

Collins, an Associate Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, is also an associate member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

She is passionate about seeing more women enter the engineering profession and is Chair of the Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) Young Women’s Board and is also a non-Executive Director of the organisation.

“As Chair of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Young Women’s Board, my passion is addressing the challenge of encouraging more girls to continue pursuing STEM subjects to degree level and beyond that, helping industry to recruit and retain them within the workforce,” says Collins.

“I hope to inspire the next generation of female scientists and engineers and reassure parents and teachers that girls can have a happy and successful career within the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) professions. STEM subjects influence every aspect of our lives and a job in STEM can help to change the world.”

Tickets for this year’s New Zealand International Science Festival go on sale to the public on June 9. More than 170 events are held during the week, which is largely funded by the Dunedin City Council and the University of Otago, from July 8-16. Ninety per cent of the events are free and open to the public. To check out a full programme, go


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