Wednesday 23rd June is the 8th global annual celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, an international campaign of visibility on social media, that aims to shine a light on our diverse engineering role models, and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.
This year, women students and staff from EEE have been sharing their journey into engineering and their proudest achievements, along with some words of advice to girls and young women who are thinking about a career in STEM.
Dr Niloufar Raeis-Hosseini is an Honorary Research Fellow in our Circuits and Systems group, creating tiny electronic devices — memristors — that can store and process information. Packing ultra-fast processing power in a smaller area, with less power consumption, will enable countless future applications like Internet-of-Things computing or smart medical implants.
What challenges are you working on right now?
“I am working on nanoelectronic devices focusing on nonvolatile memories (NVMs) that don’t lose stored data on removing the power supply. The state-of-the-art flash memory is a common type of NVM. It suffers from several issues including low speed and limited endurance. Therefore, the memristor as a novel nanoelectronic device has emerged to address these problems. I focus on the design, fabrication, and characterization of memristors to increase their performance and efficiency. By fabricating flexible and transparent memristors I aim to revolutionize the current industry of consumer electronics.”
What inspires you as an engineer?
“The human brain is one of the most interesting and complex systems with an enormous power of problem-solving. It contains more than 100 billion nerves that communicate with each other via trillions of synapses. The synapse is responsible for the brain’s robustness and data processing. Inspired by the human brain, I aim to mimic a natural brain’s functionality by the fabrication of an artificial synapse based on memristors.”
What advice would you give to a girl who is thinking about studying EEE or Engineering?
“The female students who are thinking about studying engineering should be consistent with their curiosity to improve diversity in science and technology. By increasing society’s awareness of gender equality and a growing number of female engineers, they can follow the current pace and get inspired by successful women in STEM. They need to believe in their power to make an impact in the world.”
What activities do you take part in outside of engineering – at Imperial and beyond?
“I boost my network, establish collaborations, attend meetings and international conferences. I believe that playing sports makes the brain more efficient. Knowing the importance of physical exercise on the brain’s efficiency, I try to improve my concentration and enhance my creativity by daily exercises.”