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Quickfire questions with Emma Arandjelovic

Now working at the cutting edge of science and technology, Emma Arandjelovic (BSc Computer Science, 2002) looks back at her time at Warwick and how it was key to succeeding in a male-dominated industry.

Why did you choose Warwick?
I shortlisted Warwick because it was one of the best universities in the country for Computer Science at that time (and I’m glad to see still is!). When I visited Warwick for the open day, I really liked the friendly, welcoming vibe of the campus.

Describe your current role
I work as a Senior Software Engineer for Observatory Sciences, a company which supplies software for ‘big science’ systems and instruments, including telescopes and accelerators. In my current role I’m involved in the SKAO, an ambitious project which is constructing the largest radio telescopes in the world, across two sites in Australia and South Africa.

What motivates you to do what you do? 
I love the fact that my work is helping to progress scientific understanding, and it’s hugely exciting to be involved in world-leading projects such as the SKAO. It’s such a privilege to be right at the cutting edge of science and technology.

What advice would you give students considering a career in your field?
I would say it’s particularly important in my field to be adaptable. One day you might find yourself designing a brand new control system architecture and the next using an oscilloscope to characterise a laser. Approach everything with a willingness to learn new things and you will do well!

What did you learn at Warwick that has most helped you in your career?
Programming languages and software engineering methodologies come and go, but I think my training in Computer Science has shaped my way of thinking in a more fundamental way which has helped me to approach the complex problems that I deal with day-to-day.

How has your time at Warwick influenced what you do now? 
As one of a very small number of women studying Computer Science in 1999, I think my time at Warwick was really key in helping me to start out my career in what was then a male-dominated workforce with confidence in my abilities.

Favourite memory of Warwick?
Monday nights were always ‘Top Banana’ nights in the students’ union back then – a great way to start the week!

Best thing about the Warwick community?
I think the campus-based community fosters friendships and collaborations across departments particularly well.

Favourite place on campus?
The Piazza

Emma smiles at camera in front of a window