Ep 16: Fire engineering, Liquid Paper, and understanding memory and cognition

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Welcome to the Ada Lovelace Day podcast, highlighting the work of women in STEM. Each month, we talk to women from around the STEM world about their careers, as well as talking to women and men, about historic and modern women’s achievements, discoveries, and inventions.

In this episode

01:30: Kristen Salzer-Frost introduces us to the relatively new discipline of fire engineering.

25:05: Our Discovery of the Month is the intriguing story of Liquid Paper, invented by Bette Nesmith Graham.

29:25: Nicole George and Cordon Purcell talk about why neuropsychologist Dr Brenda Milner’s work on memory and cognition has been so influential.

Our interviewees

Kristen Salzer-Frost

Kristen Salzer-Frost is a Lecturer in Fire Engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University who started her career as a Fire Safety Engineer in Australia before moving to the UK. Her specialties include computer modelling of fire and evacuation, practical fire safety building design strategies, international fire engineering projects and fire safety design in historic buildings. She is currently completing her PhD in two-way coupling of fire and evacuation models with the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich.

Nicole George and Cordon Purcell

Nicole GeorgeNicole George is currently completing her Master’s of Neuroscience at McGill University, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Windsor. She is currently studying the pathophysiology of chronic pain. You can follow her on Twitter @nicgeorge5.




Cordon Purcell

Cordon Purcell is a Registered Music Therapist (MTA), who graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music Therapy from the University of Windsor. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Music Therapy at Concordia University, where her research involves a self-heuristic paradigm, investigating her relationship to music. You can follow her on Twitter @cordonpurcell.

The Superwomen in Science podcast discusses “the past, present and future of women in science, highlighting a wide variety of scientific endeavours as well as issues facing women in science”. You can listen on Soundcloud or iTunes, and can follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


Nicole and Cordon were talking about Dr Brenda Milner, whose work with Patient HM over the course of three decades “established that people have multiple memory systems, governing different activities like language or motor skills, opening the way for a greater understanding of how the brain works.”




Discovery of the month

Our Discovery of the Month is something definitely of its time: The invention of Liquid Paper by Bette Nesmith Graham in 1951, and her development of the Liquid Paper Corporation into a multimillion dollar global business.

Thanks to our sponsor

This podcast is brought to you thanks to the generous support of ARM, our exclusive semiconductor industry sponsor. You can learn more about ARM on their website at ARM.com and you can follow them on Twitter at @ARMHoldings.

If you would like to join ARM as a sponsor of the Ada Lovelace Day Podcast, please email us.



Episode edited by Andrew Marks.

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