Xiaohuan (Iris) Yan

Iris Yan

Iris Yan gears up for the next 'G'

Founding member of the Monash Girl Geek Coffee Club, Senior Strategy Specialist - Network Intelligence and Insights Lead at Telstra, and mother-to-be Xiaohuan (Iris) Yan sees a future full of great potential. And in her world, G stands for Generation.

After completing her PhD in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (Telecommunications) at Monash, joining Telstra was a logical next step for Iris. Her doctoral research had explored optimisation of handovers (transferring calls or data sessions from one channel to another) in next-generation wireless networks. This experience smoothly segued into her initial role as technical lead for some of the telco’s key 4G projects. Seven years later, Iris has gained the commercial, marketing and management skills to now pursue competitive insights and network leadership for the company.

From her front row seat, Iris observes how technologies continue to transform our everyday lives. The high data speeds of 4G have astronomically increased our video consumption, turning our smartphones into mini cinemas. And soon 5G will supercharge wireless networks, powering the ‘internet of things’ in real time. (Your car might alert others that you’ll be late for a meeting because you’re stuck in traffic. Or your fridge might detect you’re low on milk and sensibly order another carton.) Just as the internet has revolutionised our society, Iris believes artificial intelligence (AI) will ultimately rewrite productivity, redefine the job market and redistribute wealth. Wow.

But, all this techno talk aside, here’s something even more momentous: Iris will soon bring a baby girl into our brave new world. A new challenge. A new generation. We can imagine that one day Iris might take this child aside and offer her the very same advice she offers future engineers: Never stop learning, thinking and imagining. And that’s inspiration for the ages.