Truro College in Cornwall, University of Bath, now I'm just finishing my Engineering Doctorate at the University of Surrey and sponsored by National Physical Laboratory
GCSEs, A Levels (Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Psychology), Chemistry degree
1st ever job in a shop called Mountain Warehouse, summer work cleaning and waitressing, summer placement in a Minerals Analysis laboratory, 1 year placement in my 3rd year of university at Imerys (a minerals company)
Finishing my doctorate at NPL, I start work full time at NPL as a Research Engineer in April!
The National Physical Laboratory
It is the UK’s National Measurement Institute
Favourite thing to do in my job: Discuss new ideas for research and plan experiments
I'm about to finish my EngD and become Dr Bone, starting research on understanding the lifecycle of materials. I also love cycling and running, my favourite place is on the beach
At the moment I live in South West London with my boyfriend and I am studying and working at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. I previously studied Chemistry at the University of Bath and went to school and grew up in Cornwall (I really miss the sea and pasties!).
I love being outside so spend a lot of time out for walks, running or cycling and exploring new places. All that activity builds an appetite, so I also love baking and have made a lot of cakes during lockdown!
My work involves testing how materials called polymer composites breakdown in the environment. These kinds of materials are used in wind turbine blades and ships
As a part of the Advanced Materials group at NPL, I spend my time setting up ageing experiments to test polymer materials under different environments including in water at different temperatures and pressures. I then test the material properties using lots of tests to understand how they have degraded. This is important to try and understand how these materials will perform and how long they will last. Wind turbines need to be up for 25 years!
As well as this I get to go to lots of meetings and conferences where I present my work and discuss new ideas with other researchers
My Typical Day: I usually get to work by 9, work in the lab in the morning, then after lunch spend time analyzing data in the afternoon and writing up reports
My days aren’t always the same, but I normally work between 9am to 5.30 pm, with a lunch break in the middle of the day where I spend time with colleagues. During the day I spend time in the labs setting up long term ageing tests, weighing samples, testing samples, looking at them under the microscope and checking everything is working properly. I then have to spend time looking at results by entering my measurements in spreadsheets and plotting graphs to look at the data. I often have to write this up into reports, presentations and papers to show what I have found. At the moment because of COVID I have been working from home most of the time and only going to the lab when I really need to do some tests.
What I'd do with the money
I’d use the money to help develop workshops and sessions for schools, particularly focused on the environmental effect of materials and pollution
I’ve been involved with outreach as a STEM ambassador as well as working with the outreach team at NPL doing water rocket challenges. I’d like to be able to talk to students more about working in STEM, as well as the importance of materials in our lives and how we use them. I’d like to organise equipment to do a survey with student of their local area and see what litter there is and what it is made out of
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Ocean loving engineer
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Probably traveling to Australia to present work at a conference. I got to meet lots of new people and explore such an incredible place
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My Mum, she's always been super supportive
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I had no idea! I just loved science and am passionate about the environment so studying and research lets me follow that
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, my Mum was a teacher so I never dared!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Maybe marine biology, I loved watching Blue Planet
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I used to row in Cornish Pilot Gigs, racing at the Isles of Scilly was incredible. I recommend looking it up!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To get a dog, remove plastic pollution from the sea, have a house with a garden
Tell us a joke.
I'd tell a Chemistry joke, but all the good ones Argon