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Dr Connie Qian

My mother is my role model. She’s retired now, but previously worked as an Engineer. I always thought she was pretty cool, her work fascinated me and it still does.

Growing up, I never realised that there was such a low percentage of women in engineering. It didn’t seem a big deal then, but looking back my mother was the only female engineer (at her company) leading an all-male team. It was her career that inspired me to study Mechanic Engineering followed by a PhD at the University of Nottingham.

I’m a big advocate of the importance of engineering. It is shaping our future and our quality of life. However I wanted a career in more than just engineering which is why I choose the research route.

After graduating I took a research role at the University of Nottingham, before joining the Automotive Composites Research Centre at WMG. At Nottingham I worked on fundamental research whereas my role now focuses on applied research.

First impressions

My first experience of WMG was during my previous job, I came for a meeting and was amazed by the facilities and advanced technology. It felt as if WMG was really ahead of the game, and I wanted to be a part of that. I was also keen to expand my skill set (into applied research) so it seemed like the perfect place for me.

Highlight of my career

There is always someone here who can offer support. For instance when I was applying for an Innovation Fellowship funded by the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Hub – from writing my proposal to preparing for my interview - I never felt alone. It is an extremely prestigious Fellowship and it was the highlight of my career to hear that I had been successful.

Research is very challenging, and exciting, and no two tasks, or two days, are ever the same. I’m very happy in my role but in the future I would like to progress into academia and I know my colleagues would offer me their full support.

Dr Connie Qian