Month: November 2023

#WomenonWednesdays: Abigail Levison

This week for #WomenonWednesdays we spoke to Abigail, a third year physics undergraduate, currently on her year abroad in Switzerland!

Describe your path into physics, what kickstarted it?

My path into physics is slightly unusual: I had planned for all of sixth form to study maths at university since that was always my favourite subject at school. I even applied to do maths at some universities. It took sitting the STEP papers (an admissions test used by some universities for maths) for me to realise I loved applied maths much much more than pure maths. Every time I read about pure maths I thought, “that’s cool, but what can I use this for?”

I discovered that the problem-solving I loved from maths and further maths A level was in fact closer to the maths in a physics degree than in a maths degree. And when I came to Imperial and started my physics degree, I knew immediately that physics was exactly the subject I wanted.


#WomenonWednesdays: Ellie Tubman

For this week’s #WomenonWednesdays interview, we spoke to Dr Ellie Tubman, a lecturer in Experimental ICF / HEDP Science.

As an introduction, what is your area of expertise within Physics?

I am a plasma physicist working on fusion energy and laboratory astrophysics using laser facilities such as NIF, Omega and Orion. You may have heard of NIF in California where they recently achieved ignition last Christmas where we got more energy out than we put in to our fuel, a really exciting result! I am particularly interested in the magnetic fields that can be generated in the interactions and how that affects the phenomena. At Imperial I am involved in teaching 1st year laboratory.


#WomenonWednesdays: Nikita Chaturvedi

This week for #WomenonWednesdays we spoke to Nikita, a PhD student in plasma physics!

As an introduction, describe your pathway into physics, what kickstarted it?

I was first drawn to physics through maths in high school – I enjoyed the subject itself but liked the applied side much better. Physics seemed to combine the theoretical side of maths into something grounded in reality, at least that’s what I thought until starting quantum mechanics in uni! Once at Imperial I started off terrible at computational physics, but grew to enjoy it over the years, so much so that I ended up doing an MSc in a field called computational fluid dynamics. There is something very satisfying about translating governing equations into a code, and using it to simulate complicated systems. My master’s degree then laid the groundwork for my PhD, which is also based in numerical physics.


#WomenonWednesdays: Clarisse Bonacina

For this week’s #WomenonWednesdays interview we spoke to Clarisse, a fourth year physics undergraduate student.

Describe your path into physics. What kick started it?

I grew up in the South of France and did my education there under the French system (the French Baccalaureate). I decided to go to the UK for my studies simply because I liked the idea of going abroad. In my area, it’s quite uncommon to do that, so I sort of embarked on this journey knowing very little about how difficult it was to get in, how demanding the course would be, how many opportunities I would have. I didn’t have any ort of international exposure prior to that. It was a big step up throwing myself into university in a country where the language is not my native tongue. And I’m glad I didn’t know, I think I wouldn’t have had the confidence to just throw myself into this if I knew, I’m glad I had the courage to go into the unknown like this. I’m now in my in my 4th year and I would do it all again.