Jill Williams

I particularly loved the practical component because of the social aspect…

Photo of Jill Williams

I enrolled for a BSc at the University of Melbourne in 1997 and soon realized I wanted to major in Chemistry. I particularly loved the practical component because of the social aspect and made some great friends in the lab.

After completing my degree and postgraduate studies in Chemistry, I was fortunate to get a job as a Synthetic Organic Chemist with a small university-based startup company. This was a truly amazing experience where I was exposed to a range of applied analytical techniques, and which I enjoyed as a new challenge. I was privileged to work with highly skilled postdocs from around the world who both taught me a lot and opened new horizons.

After being at the bench for several years, a new opportunity arose as a Sales Representative for an equipment manufacturing company. This provided me with the chance to visit a large number of commercial, government and academic labs across Victoria. It is amazing all the strange and wonderful places that chemistry is done! It was through this that I learnt about the Defence Science Technology Group (formerly DSTO), located at Fishermens Bend. I was thoroughly impressed by the scientists and the organization and applied for the next job they advertised, and got it! I have been with DST Group since 2006 and have participated in an extraordinarily wide range of activities. I work in the chemical synthesis laboratory using highly sophisticated equipment, and deliver training for personnel in the Australian Defence Force ADF) and national security agencies. More broadly my group provides science and technology support relevant to hazardous chemicals for the ADF. I participate in international meetings where I represent the ADF, contribute to the development of policy, and advise on technical matters. This has led to exciting collaborations with similar agencies in allied nations.