Ep 17: Medical inventions, satellite propulsion, and imposter syndrome

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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

01:35: Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam talks about how simple medical inventions can save lives, and how they get from lab to hospital.

25:07: Our Discovery of Month is the invention of the hydrazine resistojet, aka the electrothermal hydrazine thruster, by propulsion engineering Yvonne Brill.

29:22: Dr Dean Burnett discusses why role models are important, and what imposters syndrome is and how to combat it.

Our interviewees

Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam MBBS

Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam

Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam read her BSc in neuroscience at Leeds University and subsequently completed medical training at the Norwich Medical School, East Anglia. She finished her Foundation Training in the Eastern Region and went onto a research post at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn where she led three regional patient safety projects across 11 hospitals in the East of England.

Currently, Maryanne is undertaking a doctorate in patient safety at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests are in the field of patient safety and understanding errors in the NHS, human factors and the use of innovation to design engineered solutions to prevent never events and serious adverse events.

Maryanne is a fellow on Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s NHS Innovator Accelerator Programme and two of her safety innovations have been selected onto the programme for national implementation: the Non-injectable Arterial Connector (NIC), designed to prevent wrong route drug administration and the WireSafe, designed to prevent retained foreign objects. Maryanne is also a founding fellow of the Q Initiative and is a fellow on the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, through which she is developing her 3rd safety innovation.

You can follow Maryanne on Twitter @mmariyaselvam.

Dr Dean Burnett

Dr Dean BurnettDean Burnett is a doctor of neuroscience and lecturer/tutor in psychiatry at the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University. He also blogs for The Guardian, and sometimes performs as a stand-up comedian.

Dean’s first book The Idiot Brain, was published in 2016, and “celebrates blind spots, blackouts, insomnia, and all the other downright laughable things our minds do to us, while also exposing the many mistakes we’ve made in our quest to understand how our brains actually work”. His next book, The Happy Brain, which will be published in May 2018, “investigate[s] what causes happiness, where it comes from, and why we are so desperate to hang onto it”.

You can follow Dean on Twitter @garwboy.

Yvonne BrillDiscovery of the month

Our Discovery of the Month is the hydrazine resistojet, which was invented by Yvonne Brill in the late 1960s. It became known as the electrothermal hydrazine thruster and was, eventually, adopted as the satellite and space industry standard.

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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