International Women's Day: UCL feature
I am so honoured to be featured on UCL’s 6 brilliant pieces of advice from inspiring UCL women in celebration of International Women’s Day! Also featured were Prof. Stella Bruzzi, Prof. Paola Lettieri, Prof. Ijeoma Uchegbu, Dr Helen Czerski and Prof. Helen Wilson.
What I wrote:
Proudest achievement: Although I’m proud of my degree and my PhD, there’s always someone with better resources, higher grades, or more published papers. Nowadays it’s the surprise achievements that make me happy, and, without overusing the phrase, spark joy. Taking a risk and seeing it pay off – that’s a great feeling. One example is taking my work outside of the lab, which isn’t the everyday norm for physicists. To my delight, my optical accelerometer prototype survived outdoor testing on a vehicle undergoing shocks and impacts. Standing in that muddy field, watching people operate the device that I’d hand-made and automated, is the proudest I’ve been. As a kid, I would never have believed it, but now, no matter what, no one can take that away, and I dare anyone who thinks it’s easy to try it themselves.
Advice for students: Diversify your life! Meet new people, try different experiences, and read around your passions – there’s so much you can gain by being open minded. A great support system is crucial: I’ve met, through Twitter, an amazing group of supportive & friendly researchers who care about making academia fair, accessible and enjoyable. We all recently worked on the successful #MyScienceInquiry (led by Professor Rachel Oliver from Cambridge University) to gather data around biases in STEMM funding. I’ll also make time to learn beyond my main research interests. At a quantum tech conference I’ll listen to talks on collapse models or quantum computers alongside quantum sensing which is where my work started from. I also get tips for starting my spin-out company by reading about the history of inventions and their commercial journey to market. There’s a lot of bad decisions you can avoid that way!