Ada Lovelace Day is an international day in celebration of the achievements of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM). The day aims to increase the profile of women in STEM, creating new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.
To explore this further, we spoke with a few of our brilliant female scientists to find out more about what inspired them to follow a career in science, and what they enjoy about working in the sector.
Was there a key figure growing up that inspired you to pursue a career in science?
Candace Adams – Junior Research Scientist (Biosensor) Albert Einstein. This man revolutionised physics and is a world renowned genius. However, he was as much a philosopher as he was a scientist, and it was this open-mindedness and creative thinking which led him to his greatest theory. Einstein also self-professed that he struggled with mathematics in his youth, but this didn’t prevent him from achieving what he did; he was passionate and persevering, which are the key components of a successful scientist.
What inspired you into a career in science?
Jennifer Hannant PhD – Head of Chemistry My A-Level Physics teacher was incredibly enthusiastic, so much so it was infectious. He would convey some very difficult principles in such a way that achieved key understanding from the whole class. Now, working at QuantuMDx, I’m working on biosensors to detect DNA from infectious diseases and there are still times when I refer back to Fleming’s left hand rule!
What is your favourite part about a career in STEM?
Katie Banks – Research Scientist (Chemistry) My favourite part would have to be the novelty of the work we are doing at QuantuMDx. Developing and discovering processes and systems which no-one has done before is incredibly exciting.
Heather Murton PhD – Head of Clinical Assay STEM careers provide a chance to continue learning and gaining experience across connected disciplines, life is never boring!
Is there a scientific project/achievement you are most proud of in your career?
Jennifer Hannant PhD – Head of Chemistry In my previous job I worked as a project manager for a chemical company. One of my leading projects was to develop a chemical intermediate for use in a cancer drug. This drug is now being used to treat patients with metastatic melanoma (skin cancer) and is helping to extend the life expectancy of those patients.
Heather Murton PhD – Head of Clinical Assay Working on novel and ultimately game changing diagnostics with QuantuMDx!
What advice do you have for someone that wants to pursue a career in science?
Katie Banks – Research Scientist (Chemistry) Explore the Sciences and find what it is you love, and aim towards a job within this field. There are many options available to contribute to scientific work and it’s important you find what suits you best, and it is something you love. Don’t just go for a job you’re expected to do. Go for it, and don’t give up!
Candace Adams – Junior Research Scientist (Biosensor) Find your passion and explore it as much as you can. Whatever it is that you find amazing and inspiring in science, be it space, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering- learn as much as you can about it, watch documentaries, read scientific articles and popular science books. This will keep you motivated and help you realise the area of science you are most interested in, it will help you formulate ideas and explore different creative possibilities surrounding the subject.
We would love to hear your answers to these questions, join in with our Ada Lovelace Day conversation by following us on Twitter at @QuantuMDx.
Are you interested in a career in STEM? We currently have vacancies across a number of our research and development teams, find out more here.