Dr Ariadne Juwono

Senior Lecturer, Physics Department, and
Deputy of Quality Assurance in Governance, Human Resources, Infrastructure & Finance Affairs, University of Indonesia, Jakarta

Master of Materials Engineering, 1996

Dr Ariadne Juwono’s interest in physics developed in high school and led her to an academic career at the University of Indonesia spanning 26 years. She works as a researcher in nanocomposites and other materials, and is responsible teaching quality and improvement.

Ariadne credits her father for sparking her interest in science as a child.

“My father, who was an aircraft engineer, introduced his children to science. I became interested in physics when I was in high school. I thought by learning physics I would know more about the world and science,” she says.

She has been an active promoter of science careers among young people, especially among women.

“I am very grateful when I see young girls become scientists. I would love to share my story on how challenging it is to become a scientist, especially a woman scientist, in Indonesia,” says Ariadne.

Over the past decade she has seen an upward trend in the level of participation of women in science and increasing numbers of Indonesian young women have achieved international recognition in science.

She was introduced to the discipline of materials science and the study of composites in particular, while studying for her undergraduate degree in Physics at the Bandung Institute of Technology.

Since the development of powerful microscopes gave scientists the ability to see nano-sized materials and study and manipulate their properties, research into composites and nanocomposites and related areas has led to discoveries in a huge range of scientific and industrial applications, from drug delivery to clothing manufacturing, and from chemical clean-ups to structural applications in vehicle and building design.

Ariadne’s interest in composites led her to pursue her Masters in Materials Engineering at UniSA in 1994-1996, under her supervisor Professor Strafford who was an expert in the same research field. Current Masters students can study materials science at UniSA’s Ian Wark Research Institute.

Ariadne obtained her doctoral degree from Monash University in 2005 with a dissertation on the behaviour of clay/ epoxy nanocomposites. She later returned to Monash for six months under the Endeavour Fellowship Program to study nanofiber fabrication using a force-spinner.

“For the last five years, I have been involved in biodegradable polymer research – still in the area of composites and nanocomposites,” she says.

“I have been working in research collaboration with the Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) company and the Agency for Assessment and Application Technology Republic of Indonesia. The polymer based composites have been used for structural applications. In the future, the biodegradable polymers – either the polymer itself or in composites and nanocomposites - will be used for medical application in a wide range of functions,” she says.

In her role as Senior Lecturer in the Physics Department between 1998 and 2010 she was responsible for organising the Basic Physics Laboratory for Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Engineering Faculties, where she saw student numbers almost double from 800 to 1500 students.

Since 2010 she has been responsible for academic staff teaching skills development and is now Vice Head of the Academic Quality Assurance Board, where she coordinates academic quality assurance among faculties in the university level.

Ariadne won the Best Researcher in Sciences from the University of Indonesia in 1997 as recognition of her achievement and contribution in physics and she is currently Chairperson of the Jakarta Chapter of the Indonesian Physics Association.

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