“COP26 was about a month after I got a call informing me that I’d been matched with someone who needed bone marrow”
After doing my undergraduate course in Natural Sciences, I continued at the University of Cambridge to get a PhD in the physics of solar cells. I enjoyed being a student, but not particularly my actual research, so I left academia for two years to work as a consultant to pay off my student loan before becoming a more interdisciplinary scientist, working on climate change.
Currently I do a variety of programming and statistical analyses on emissions data, for instance working out relationships between different types of air pollution. People often want to think only about carbon dioxide emissions, but the other gases we emit can make a big difference too.
I calculate the amount of carbon we can afford to produce while still staying below certain temperature limits for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – something that has to take account of these other gases and also contribute to estimating the impact of recent climate pledges in the UNEP emissions gap report. You may have read in the news when we updated our conclusion during COP26 to show that if all governments stick to their promises and long-term goals, we might see less than 2C warming. It’s a significant progress milestone, though there’s still a lot of work to do.
“I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity”
Being an openly gay woman in engineering, I am passionate about representation. A phrase that sits with me is, ‘you can’t be it if you can’t see it’. I feel it is important, for those who feel comfortable doing so to share experiences and support those around us. I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity.
When I was applying to university, I was really keen to base my decision on where I wanted to apply on a logical, methodical thought process – criteria like great facilities. I decided to attend an open day here at Imperial and, whilst it ticked off a lot of these criteria, it was the overall vibe and atmosphere that hit almost instantaneously – I knew I could see myself studying here. Fast forward to now, and I’m in my third year studying Chemical Engineering here at Imperial.
“One focus of my work projects us into the near future where smart appliances help us look after the climate.”
After completing my degree and Master’s in Croatia, where I grew up, I arrived at Imperial to start my long-desired PhD. My research focuses on how best to integrate technologies with a low carbon footprint into the electricity network.
The jury is still out on what mix of energy technologies we will need to deliver affordable low-carbon energy. Should we get our electricity by building more nuclear plants, or from renewables, such as offshore wind turbines, supported by energy storage? Should we heat our homes using electricity, hydrogen or something else? How and when should we charge the batteries of our electric vehicles?
One focus of my work projects us into the near future where smart appliances help us look after the climate. For example, smart fridges, dishwashers and washing machines could switch themselves on at night when energy demand tends to be low. This would enable more low-carbon electricity generators such as wind turbines to be plugged into the network. Due to their variable output, this is currently hard to do when half the country puts the kettle on at 1700.
“I am currently studying a degree apprenticeship in Project Management to further my knowledge”
I currently work as a Technology Delivery Manager in ICT having previously worked in the external events team. I never saw myself working in ICT as I thought it was too technical, however I have surprised myself with how much of a geek I am! I love learning about how things work “behind the scenes” and seeing that transposed on a client facing system. I now work with staff across the College on projects which improve student administration and experience.
I am currently studying a degree apprenticeship in Project Management to further my knowledge on areas I have had little exposure to thus far. I’m formalising my current work experience into a recognised qualification as part of my career development.
So far, the degree has not only provided taught content, but a network of colleagues from different industries who offer insights into project control and management in other workplaces. It has also provided a great support network as deadlines loom and panic sets in! (more…)