Faye Bygrave: A career in Science

05 September 2014

5 Sep 2014

Faye Bygrave was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary in 2012. Find out more about Faye's decision to pursue a career in science.

Who or what first stimulated your interest in science? And how old were you?
My first interest in science developed at high school during practical chemistry and physics lessons. I carried this forward into my A-levels in the science subjects and had a job in an Engineering company with their own research and development section. It was at this summer job that an interest in science developed into a future career prospect.

Do you have a science hero?
My science hero is my PhD supervisor as it was he who taught me all I needed to know about a career in science and scientific research. He continues to be my advisor and has always allowed me to develop and follow my independent research path even during my PhD studies.

Why did you decide to pursue a science career?
From working during the summer month in a research and development engineering company and studying Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Leeds there was no one day the same and all aspects of this area interest me. I don’t believe there are many careers that are quite as rewarding a career in science. Therefore I pursued a career in science.

What attracted you to your degree course(s)?
I equally enjoyed the A-Levels subjects: Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Design Technology. By choosing Materials Science and Engineering I could continue to study all four of these subject integrated.

How would you persuade young people that science offers interesting and worthwhile career opportunities?
I am an extremely active member of the School Outreach Work within the Faculty of Engineering at University of Leeds. I regularly visit high schools and primary schools to teach practical science lessons, I participate in science week as well as designing lessons and work plans for open days. I believe that all young people can and should have an interest in science. By educating people on what science actually is and the fact that it surround everything; young people can generate an interest in science. From this many people who would have never considered science, have the opportunity to pursue careers in science that they may not have known exist or even though achievable.

How did you come to join SCI and why?
I am currently looking to use my area of expertise to develop collaborative links and expand my research potential to meet up-and-coming application demands. I also hope to apply for a fellowship to fund my own research activities in the near future that would see fundamental science meet applications. For this reason I started to explore societies that may be able to assist with this process. SCI provides this international forum of science with an open line of communication which will be of great benefit to me in the up and coming few years and future career.

Is SCI helping you develop your career and how?
SCI have provided financial assistance for this conference which has helped me more than I could have possibly hoped for in shaping my future career. The SCI website is very useful in keeping up-to-date with current research and area of interest which is essential for me at this stage.

Is there more that SCI could do to help you and others developing careers in science?
SCI have been more than helpful in their help with this conference and their staff are very supportive in developing my career. If SCI continue to encourage all members to be ambassadors for science this will definitely develop careers in science in so many ways.

If you could do one thing to improve the image of science what would it be?
I believe science needs to be delivered to the wider audience and general public and the first step in doing this is to educate in different ways and venues on what science is and how it can and will shape the future.

Where do you hope your career will take you in 5 years time?
I hope to be able to finance my own research within an academic research institute. I also intend on continuing my work in supporting science to the wider audience in more innovative ways.

You can connect with SCI memembers who have a similar background to Faye through the Members' Directory.

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