I went to Charters School in Sunningdale to do my A-levels. I picked the University of Surrey for my undergraduate degree in Chemistry and stayed there to do my PhD in Materials Chemistry
MChem in Chemistry and a PhD in Materials Chemistry
During my days as a student I worked in bars to support my education. I did a lot of work as a Student Ambassador for the University of Surrey. I also got to work as a lab demonstrator.
Higher Research Scientist
National Physical Laboratory
My connections to STFC science and technology:
I am a member of the Public Engagement Early-Career Researcher (PEER) Forum
Favourite thing to do in my job: Pushing electronics to the extreme
I am a Scientist working on ways to test the reliability of electronics
I live in Surrey with my boyfriend and work at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. I have two cats that live with my parents.
I love talking about science and new technologies almost as much as I love food. I want to have travelled to see all of the new seven wonders of the world by the time I am 30.
I work on testing electronics to make sure they will work in extreme environments
My work is all about making sure rockets can go to outer space or submarines can stay underwater for longer. It is all about how each part in a rocket or submarine connect and work together through electronics. Imagine taping your mobile phone to a rocket going into space, your phone will heat up and cool down very quickly. Without special materials, your phone will stop working. Next imagine, instead of your mobile phone it’s a really important part of the rocket that allows humans on earth to talk to the rocket. It is really important that this doesn’t fail. So we do lots of tests to make sure the electronics survive and design ways to prevent it. One of the best ways to protect these electronics, or your phone, is to provide a coating material. This coating can do lots of things, like make it water proof so that if you drop your phone in water it will still work, or a submarine can stay under water. It can also provide protection from very hot environments, and also extremely cold environments. One of the ways it can fail is through the growth of tiny thin bits of metal called tin whiskers, which can suddenly grow. I personally find tin whiskers incredible as nobody really knows the real reason why they grow, and even though they look interesting they can cause major failures and cost industry thousands of pounds. These special coatings can also prevent this from happening.
My Typical Day
Catching up with my team, companies and setting up lab experiments
Every morning, I wake up at the crack of dawn to get to the gym before I make my way work. When I arrive I usually reply to any urgent emails before I head to the lab. The testing I do each day is different and can vary from making artificial rain to developing new tests for wearable electronics. I also get to interact with lots of different companies to help solve their electronic problems. During my lunch break I often take a walk through Bushy Park where I can say hi to the deer.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would support students wishing to visit my labs
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Adventurous, Ambitious, Curious
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
Getting my PhD! (and becoming a Dr.)
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I had great STEM teachers at school who were very inspiring and made science accessible. My parents were also a massive inspiration growing up I was always told to question everything around me.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Up until Year 11 I wanted to be a lawyer, it was when I did my A-levels that I wanted to become a scientist
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I kept to myself most of the time
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would be promoting science to underrepresented groups
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Any mexican food!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Climbing to the top of Rainbow Mountain in Peru at 5200m above sea level
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To have a happy life, to be challenged by my work and to have have 10 cats
Tell us a joke.
What did the nuclear scientist have for dinner? Fission Chips