Black History Month 2021 - Vicky Lange
21 October 2021
Meet Vicky Lange: Pfizer - Chemical Engineer Continuous Development and Manufacture (Senior Scientist) and former UCL Chemical Engineering Postdoctoral Researcher and Teaching Fellow from 2015 - 2020.
For Black History Month 2021, we asked Vicky to answer the following questions:
Who inspired you to your study or career choice?
"My father inspired me to become an engineer. He was a civil engineer and he worked for over 40 years designing, commissioning and in operations for plants (from ammonia, urea and methanol) in Trinidad just around the time when the petrochemical industry started to boom there. After school, I would visit his office on site on one of the last companies he worked for which was a methanol plant. I absolutely loved the environment! The excitement, the energy, how loud and big everything was. The distillation columns looked like shinny giants and the intricate pipework looked like an enormous maze. I was completely mesmerised just watching the steam escaping from the steam straps on the pipelines. Immediately I was hooked, and I knew that this “engineering” whatever engineering is, is what I wanted to do when I got older."
What was the biggest challenge that you faced?
"Over and over, I had to prove myself again in different scientific fields and different industries at places around the globe in work environments where not many people looked like me. I sometimes struggled with feeling like I did not fit in. I am therefore very grateful for the mentors and sponsors I met along the way; encouraging me to continue to be myself, trust in my abilities and support my career."
What achievement are you most proud of?
"I had a vision for my career and I am proud to say that I followed it. At 18, I found the courage to leave convenience behind and take the hard way, bypassing what some might say were the ‘easy exits’ to seek excellence in my profession. My journey took me from T&T to Canada to all around the UK where I have worked in petroleum and fine chemicals industry, research, education, project management. All preparing me for my work in the pharmaceutical industry where I am using my scientific knowledge to develop technologies and make breakthroughs to save lives and positively impact the health of many people."
What quote inspires you?
"Quitters never win, and winners never quit" - Lisa Nichols
- Vicky Lange