PEOPLE: How formal mathematics training was merely the start of brooke jamieson’s career in STEM

As part of our series of women in STEM profiles for National Science Week, this interview covers Brooke Jamieson‘s career to date, including her current role as Experience Lead at PlaceOS and how she applies a broad range of skills to her day-to-day work.

  • Growing up in regional Australia, what sparked your interest in science and technology?

I was always really interested in finding creative solutions to problems – whether this was working out how to sew a dress I had seen on Fashion Week runways or building robots with K’Nex. I was lucky to have lots of really creative opportunities growing up, and I really fell in love with the idea of science and technology when I realised I could apply my creative side to this area.

  • Throughout your career, you’ve gathered a range of skillsets across UX, mathematics, behavioural science and more. How do you combine these in your day-to-day work?

I’m Experience Lead for a global smart building and smart workplace technology platform called PlaceOS – a big feature of the platform is its ability to “herd cats” when it comes to bringing the technology in a space together to create great experiences for end users within the building. Without a really solid grounding across UX, behavioural science and consumer behaviour, I wouldn’t be able to understand our end users, and without a technical background in mathematics and programming I wouldn’t be able to understand the technical side of the product and how I can not only solve the problems our users are facing, but solve them in a way that is technically robust and scalable. My day to day work is all about bringing both sides together.

  • Is it important for all STEM professionals to have more than one area of expertise? Why or why not?

When I look back at all of the roles I’ve had in my career, none have really existed 5-10 years before I had them. As a result, I think it’s important to stay curious and be a lifelong learner, so you are ready for whatever the future might hold. Having a few areas of expertise keeps lots of doors open, but also helps you to communicate technical concepts in different ways, and connect-the-dots of new concepts in ways that others might not think of.

  • What are the most interesting and boring parts of your job as an Experience Lead?

The really interesting parts of my role all involve our customers and end users – I always look forward to listening to people describe what their ideal day in the office would be like, and then figuring out how to use technology within the space to enhance that experience.

Not quite boring, but the part of my role that I enjoy the least is staying up late! Covid-19 has meant that we aren’t able to travel internationally to spend time with our clients and collaborate in person, so ‘the new normal’ has involved lots of late night or early morning video calls to try and find common ground between European, American and Australian Time Zones. It’s hard at times, but really rewarding knowing that I am helping to shape technology that will assist our global customer base to be happy and healthy as they transition back to working in the office.

About the expert

I talk to people to find the questions and talk to data to find the answers!

I’m Experience Lead at PlaceOS, a global Smart Workplace Technology Platform. Essentially, this means I combine my formal mathematics training with professional experience in UX, Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Behavioural Economics, Web Optimisation and Persuasive Communication to help people get the most out of data generated by their smart buildings.

Overall, I specialise in researching & developing technically robust UX that helps “non-data people” harness the power of data, and communicate this effectively.

I graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Science – Extended Major in Mathematics, and I’ve since done further training in data science, programming, cloud computing, UX, Marketing and Behavioural Science. The intersection of my curiosity, creativity and analytical skills is where the magic happens, and I harness this skill stack to optimise business processes through mathematics layered with persuasive storytelling and visualisations.

Image description: Photo of Brooke in a mustard coloured dress, inside a building with floor-to-ceiling glass windows.