8 Questions with Professor Helen Fielding

16 August 2017

This week, meet Professor Helen Fielding, a Physical Chemist who specializes in Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics.  Helen joined the department in 2003 shares her top three things to do in London and tells us why she chose a career in chemistry.

1. How old were you when you first realised you were interested in chemistry?

I became interested in science from about the age of 13 because I had such fantastic teachers at school.  

2. What made you take up a career in chemistry?

It wasn’t planned! I enjoyed doing a research project in my final year so did a PhD with one of my project supervisors. I loved listening to Ahmed Zewail’s Hinshelwood Lectures as a PhD student so decided to do a postdoc using time-resolved spectroscopy. Since then, I just took various opportunities as they arose.

3. Who inspired you to take up chemistry and why?

My science and maths teachers inspired me but I have also been inspired by many other colleagues and scientists throughout my career.

4. What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I am always most proud of our latest results – at the moment this is our unique capability for carrying out photoelectron spectroscopy measurements of molecules in solution as well as in the gas-phase, using our liquid-microjet photoelectron spectrometer.    

5. What is your favourite album, film and novel?

OMD, Pretty Woman, Les Miserables (English translation!).

6. Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Hugh Grant!

7. What would it surprise people to know about you?

I taught myself to play the saxophone whilst being a postdoc in Amsterdam.

8. What are your top three things to do/see/go to in London?

Parks, museums and the Thames river boat with my 3 children.