Change is hard. Scary. Exciting. Almost always worthwhile. But hard.
My mum tells the story like this. We were wandering around Dublin city centre when I was five or six, and as we passed the gates of Trinity College, I asked what was inside. Mum explained that it was a ‘big school for very clever people’. I declared, “I’m going to go to that school”, nodded my head and walked off. I have no memory of this particular episode, but it does sound like me, so I think it’s probably all true 🙂 In 2001, I was offered and accepted a place at Trinity, to study Natural Sciences, and in 2005, I graduated with a BSc Physics with Astrophysics.
During my final year, I started to think about the future; I was torn between a ‘real job’ and a postgrad. My degree supervisor (and good friend) Brian sent me a few links, and the National Physical Laboratory caught my eye. My boyfriend at the time had already accepted a job in London, so I decided to make the move too.
Fast-forward to 2006. I joined NPL after completing an MSc at University College London, and I’ve been there ever since. In my (almost) seven years at NPL, I have worked on projects as diverse as nanoparticle characterisation, low friction microstructured surfaces, DNA-based assembly of mesoscale devices and nanomaterials for the space industry. In more recent years, my work has focussed on thermoelectric materials, a topic I have grown to love. And, most importantly of all, I fell in love with science communication.
Today, I handed in my notice to my lovely manager Gareth. I will be leaving NPL at the end of July, and moving on to pastures new.
Its all a bit scary, especially as I can’t picture my life without the lab, but I am very excited about the next step. I will be joining Nobel Media AB – the media arm of the Nobel Foundation – to work on their international science programmes, initially for 12 months.
Wish me luck 🙂
PS: I will still be blogging and writing articles for Materials Today, and I’m hoping that my work with the Naked Scientists will continue too. And I’m going to keep calling myself a scientist, just one dabbling in media 😉