I loved Chemistry and Maths at school, and ended up studying Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. I did my masters on the chemical composition of whisky, and really enjoyed working on something that I could see the real world application of. When I finished my undergraduate degree I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I was a grown up. I decided to put off the decision for a few more years and started a PhD in Chemical Engineering researching laundry detergents. I was working on ways to reduce the amount of water, energy and chemicals in the process to make washing clothes more environmentally friendly. At this point I realised I should have been doing Chemical Engineering from the start – it combined all of the bits of Chemistry and Maths that I loved the most, but no one told me this was an option when I was at school.

It is for this reason that I’ve worked with the Women’s Engineering Society to promote engineering to young people. I started WESBath, the University of Bath Women’s Engineering Society group, and affiliated with the national WES. From my work with the student group, I was asked to join WES council. To help engagement with younger women, I started and now chair the WES Young Members Board, a board of 12 early career women working or studying in the field of engineering. As well as providing younger role models, the board better represents the views of early career members and gives members development opportunities by giving them board experience and the chance to manage their own projects.

I’m now working as a Process Scientist at British Sugar, which perfectly combines Engineering and Chemistry. The factory is like a big chemistry set, and the sugar process is so complicated; it’s really exciting to learn new things every single day!