Alumna – University College London
Lecturer in Energy and Buildings within Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton
At what age did you first become interested in science/engineering and what was your career path to arrive at this point?
I have always been interested in working out how objects, structures and systems operate. My degree and diploma were in Architecture. I worked for eight years in consultancy mostly focused in building and infrastructure, at Arup, HOK, Atkins and ADPi. As an architect and project manager in multi-disciplinary design teams, I collaborated on schemes in Abu Dhabi, UK, France and China; including the Oriental Art Centre in Shanghai, the King Alfred Development in association with Gehry Partners, BSkyB broadcast centre in London and Abu Dhabi National Stadium. Sponsored by Arup, I undertook an MSc in Environmental Design and Engineering at UCL. A year after completing this master, I decided to convert from a generalist to a specialist pathway and started a PhD in Energy and the Built Environment within LoLo. After couple of years as a research associate at UCL Energy Institute, I am now a lecturer in Energy and Buildings at the University of Southampton.
Does balancing work life with family life and/or social life work for you at this stage?
Balancing work and a young family is challenging at time, but my colleagues have always been supportive. Flexible working patterns such as compressed hours have been essential in the last few years. Most importantly having a strong network of friends and family around is essential.
What do you hope to achieve in your career?
Having worked in industry and now in academia, I hope build on this experience to inspire young engineers through my teaching and research.
Do you have any insights or wisdom to pass on to younger women about to embark on a similar journey?
A PhD is a journey with many ‘ups and downs’; one day you resolve a problem, the next day you question your results. It is a challenging training and time to learn to research.