Research Fellow in the Polymer Composites Research Group
Dept. of Mechanical, Materials & Manufacturing Engineering
University of Nottingham
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
Maths and science were always my favourite subjects at school. My dad was a mechanical engineer and I was encouraged to consider engineering as a career. I studied mechanical engineering at university where I started to learn programming which I really enjoyed. My PhD was developing a computer controlled machine for filament winding composite materials and I realised that I was far better at being a software engineer than a mechanical engineer! After that I moved to the computer science department and have worked as a software engineer since then.
What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I think that my current job is pretty cool. It combines writing software which I love doing with the engineering that I started my career with. Being at the forefront of composite materials research, by developing software to model textile composites, is both challenging and very interesting. The project I run is here: www.texgen.sourceforge.net
I think that the women in the BCSWomen group, and especially my fellow committee members, have been a great inspiration to me. They are so enthusiastic about the field that they work in and also passionate about encouraging women to start, and then continue in, careers in computing.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I think that it’s just what makes me tick! There’s always something new and interesting to learn.
Advice for future STEMinists?
If you are interested in and want to work in STEM don’t be put off by people who try to persuade you that it will be hard (which it sometimes may be, but what’s wrong with a challenge!) or that it’s not for women. Just decide what you want to do and go for it!
Favorite website or app: I think The Code Project has to be one of my favourites. It nearly always helps with coding problems I’m facing and its daily newsletter leads me to blogs and articles both serious and not so serious.