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Inspiring Women in Science speakers

UCL’s Inspiring Women in Science speakers programme aims to introduce girls to science in an appealing way and to show how science directly relates to their lives.

Successful female academics, researchers and PhD students from a range of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) subjects are willing to motivate and empower girls recognize the endless opportunities available to them in these fields. The aim of this speakers programme is to help shatter stereotypes by exposing students to female role models in science and to help spark both their curiosity and self-belief in disciplines where girls have traditionally been under-represented. 

To book a speaker for your school, please contact UCL's Equality and Diversity Team

e: equalities@ucl.ac.uk 

t: 020 3108 3991

Claire Crowley Claire Crowley is a 3rd year PhD student in the department of Surgery and Interventional Science. She first came to UCL in 2009 to study a Masters in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine. The thesis for her Masters was on the development of an artificial windpipe and Claire has since continued this onto PhD. In June 2011, during the first year of her PhD, Claire was given the unique opportunity to design and manufacture a windpipe for a patient with late stage tracheal cancer. This was a compassionate case as the patient had no gold standard clinical options left available to him. On 9th of June, the windpipe Claire designed was implanted making it the 'world first synthetic organ'. It is now over two years later and the patient is doing very well. Claire thoroughly enjoys working in science and would love to be involved in encouraging young women to strongly think of a career in this exciting area.
Clare Elwell Clare Elwell is a Professor of Medical Physics at UCL. Throughout her career as a medical physicist she has worked at the interface of technical development of instrumentation and its clinical application. She now leads a large multidisciplinary research team developing novel optical techniques to image the brain to investigate acute brain injury, autism, malnutrition, malaria, migraine and depression. In 2012 she won the UCL Public Engagement award and has contributed to numerous science festivals, schools events and media broadcasts.
Eva Sorenson Dr Eva Sorensen is a Reader in Chemical Engineering at UCL. She divides her time between teaching and research within the wonders of chemical engineering in areas as diverse as biopharmaceuticals, water treatment, consumer goods and refineries. She is an ExxonMobil Teaching Fellow and won the Faculty of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002. She has been a primary and secondary school governor for nearly a decade and is passionate about supporting each girl to achieve to her highest potential.
Flavia Mancini Dr Flavia Mancini is a neuroscientist investigating how we perceive pain. Her research involves studying what happens in our brain while being in pain. Flavia develops models of pain and relief in healthy volunteers that could be used to help patients suffering of chronic pain.
Helen Wilson  Dr Helen Wilson is an applied mathematician at UCL. She is interested in complex fluids: gloopy, bouncy, gritty or slimy liquids that don't follow the same rules as air, water and honey.
Jemma Kerns Dr Jemma Kerns is a post-doctoral research associate at UCL and says she loves her job! She took A-level Chemistry, Biology and Maths because she enjoyed them, which naturally lead her to do a BSc in Natural Sciences at Lancaster University. After her undergraduate degree Jemma did a PhD in the application of novel diagnostic techniques for the detection of cancer, which entailed working across different scientific disciplines and learning lots of new skills, from lab work to writing papers for publication. In Jemma’s current position she work in a team of people developing an instrument for diagnosing bone disorders, which involves a lot of work with patients, enabling her to connect the science she does in the lab with future advances in medicine for the benefit of patients.
Jennifer Bizley  Dr Jennifer Bizley is a neuroscientist working at UCL's Ear Institute and a previous 'L'Oreal For Women in Science' Fellowship winner. Her research goal is to understand how the brain processes sounds and in particular the ways in which what we see can influence what we hear.
Larissa Suzuki Larissa Suzuki holds a BSc in Computer Science and a MSc in Electrical Engineering. She is a second year PhD student in Software Systems Engineering at University College London (UCL) where she holds a scholarship from the EPSRC.   She has worked as a teaching assistant in many disciplines and courses in the Department of Computer Science and is an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. She has received many awards and scholarships based on academic excellence, including the prestigious Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship 2012, Intel Doctoral Student Honor Programme Fellowship 2013, the MH Joseph prize from the British Federation of Women Graduates 2013, and the Google Global Scholarship in 2013. She is an Ambassador of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.
Martina Micheletti Dr Martina Micheletti is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemical Engineering. Martina loves teaching young students about this new discipline and is passionate about doing research in engineering alongside cell biologists and biochemists and improving the way in which drugs are made. Martina organizes the UCL Women in Engineering Taster course for Year 12 girls and coordinates the departmental activities aimed at recruiting more girls into their undergraduate degrees.
Snezana Djordjevic Dr Snezana Djordjevic received her PhD from the Medical College of Wisconsin and worked as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research associate before coming to UK to join MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Over the last 12 years she has built a successful research group at the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology at University College London. She is the mother of a blue-haired 17-year old girl and a Pokemon-expert 7-year old boy.
  • In 2012 girls and boys entered exams in STEM GCSEs in almost equal numbers. Girls also do well and usually outperform boys in the majority of STEM GCSE subjects.
  • At A level, lower numbers of females took all STEM subjects, except biology. The proportion of girls studying chemistry and mathematics has been steadily rising, however only 8% of students in computing were female and 22% in physics.
  • When these figures are compared with those for GCSE, we get an indication of the scale of the ‘leaky’ pipeline. Large numbers of girls who were successful in STEM subjects at GCSE level do not enter for A level exams in these subjects.
  • Whilst females accounted for just over 40% of undergraduates in mathematical sciences and physical science last year, they accounted for only 18% in computer science and 15% in engineering.
  • Despite the economic downturn, 43% of UK STEM employers report difficulty recruiting staff and more than half are expecting difficulty over the next three years. (CBI, 2011). Yet there is still a lack of women in STEM careers across Europe, particularly in the UK which at 9% has the lowest proportion of women in STEM jobs.
  • A 2011 Girlguiding UK survey found that 43% of girls said they were put off science and engineering careers because they did not know enough about the kind of careers available. 60% said they also were put off by a lack of female role models.