Ep 18: Ada Lovelace Day Live!

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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

00:50: Yasmin Ali talks to Suw about life as a chemical engineer. 

09:20: Ada Lovelace Day Live! audience members tell us about the women in STEM that they admire.

12:15: Miranda Lowe talks about her work as a curator at the National History Museum.

21:25: Geek songstress Helen Arney performs the Element Song, with creative input from the ALD Live crowd.

27:02: Dr Brenna Hassett tells us about the stories our skeletons can reveal, and about some of the groundbreaking women in archaeology.

Our interviewees & performers

Yasmin Ali

Photo: Engineering Showoff

Yasmin is a chartered chemical engineer in the energy industry, with experience in coal and gas-fired power stations, as well as the UK oil and gas sector.

Outside of work Yasmin is a keen volunteer and dedicates much of her time to promoting engineering at schools, career fairs and festivals, with a variety of organisations including the IET, IChemE, and WES. She is also passionate about informing the public about engineering through the media, and has worked with the BBC’s science unit. Yasmin also enjoys stand-up comedy, music and sports!

Twitter: @engineeryasmin

 

Miranda Lowe

Photo: © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Miranda Lowe is a museum scientist and Principal Curator at the Natural History Museum, London. She is responsible for many historically important oceanographic specimens, including specimens from the Discovery and Challenger expeditions, and Charles Darwin’s barnacles. Her specialist area of interest is marine invertebrates especially Crustacea and Cnidaria.

As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology she communicates her science, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC Four and CBBC. She is passionate about the role that science and museums play in our understanding of the natural world, and her favourite birds are puffins! Miranda was a finalist at the National Diversity Awards in the ‘Positive Role Model Award for Race, Religion & Faith’ category in 2013.

Twitter: @nathistgirl
Web: LinkedIn

 

Helen Arney

Helen Arney, photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

Credit: Steve Ullathorne

Helen is a self-professed geek songstress, who writes maths and science-inspired comedy songs and performs across the UK as herself, and with “Festival of the Spoken Nerd”. Helen’s first book, The Element In The Room, “a rib-tickling, experiment-fuelled and fully illustrated guide to the science that’s all around us”, is co-written with Steve Mould and out on 5 October. You can download a free sample from Amazon and preorder the book now!

Web: helenarney.com
Twitter: @helenarney

 

Dr Brenna Hassett

Photo: Rachel Fisher

Brenna Hassett is an archaeologist who specialises in using clues from the human skeleton to understand how people lived and died in the past. Her research focuses on the evidence of health and growth locked into teeth, and she uses clues from both teeth and bones to investigate how children grew (or didn’t) across the world and across time.

She has worked at the Pyramids in Giza, a 10,000 year old village in Anatolia, and a series of basement labs in between, and her book Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death is a fast-paced and frequently humorous journey through our recent evolution into a majority-urban species.

Brenna is also one-quarter of the TrowelBlazers project, an outreach, advocacy, and academic effort to celebrate women’s contributions to the trowel-wielding arts.

Twitter: @brennawalks & @trowelblazers
Web: Passim in Passing

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.

Credits

Episode edited by Andrew Marks.

Our links

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

iTunes | Google Play | RSS (Soundcloud) | Stitcher

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.

Credits

Episode edited by Andrew Marks.

Our links

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

iTunes | Google Play | RSS (Soundcloud) | Stitcher

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.

 

Credits

Episode edited by Andrew Marks.

Our links

Ep 15: Life as a tech reporter, automotive safety features and WWII metallurgy

iTunes | Google Play | RSS (Soundcloud) | Stitcher

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

00:28: Zoe Kleinmann talks about life as a tech reporter for the BBC.

26:40: We explore the contributions that women have made to the automotive industry, including safety and comfort features that we now take for granted!

30:55: Dr Paul Coxon from the University of Cambridge on the fascinating work of metallurgist Constance Tipper.

Our interviewees

Zoe Kleinman

Zoe KleinmanZoe Kleinman is a high profile BBC journalist and broadcaster, regularly seen and heard across BBC radio, TV and online.

From cybersecurity and hacking to artificial intelligence and driverless cars, Zoe brings tech and business stories to a mainstream global audience of millions across international radio, TV and online outlets including Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC World News.

She travels the world in search of the Next Big Thing – flying selfie-taking drones in the Nevada desert, spending the night in a house full of robots, being turned into a human beatbox, climbing Mount Everest (using virtual reality, in a hotel room in Las Vegas)  and trying to survive for 48 hours using only Bitcoin on the Isle of Man – where she discovered it was easier to buy beer than breakfast.

Zoe is also a mum of two children and as a result can build pretty much anything out of Lego.

You can follow Zoe on Twitter @zsk.

Dr Paul Coxon

Paul CoxonPaul Coxon is a physicist in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. His research focusses on new materials for sustainable energy generation and battery devices. He is currently developing extremely black nano-surfaces to improve PV cells by increasing their ability to trap the full spectrum of the sun. He is a keen science communicator always eager to engage the public in the wonders of materials science. Frequently appears on radio and TV, and regularly contributes to popular science magazines and blogs on renewable energy, solar photovoltaics, energy materials and storage. He can be found on Twitter at @paulcoxon.

Constance TipperPaul was talking about Constance Tipper, a metallurgist, crystallographer, and the first woman to be appointed to the Department of Engineering at Cambridge. She was interested in metals and how the crystalline structure affected their strength and mechanical properties. She made her name in helping understand why the all-welded “Liberty Ships” which fed Britain and Europe during WW2 kept failing and splitting in two.

Discovery of the month

We talk about some of the inventions that have made our motoring lives safer and more comfortable, including the windscreen wiper, turn and brake signals, and the car heater.

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.

Get in touch!

If you’d like to send us feedback about the show, or if you’d like to take part, please email us. We’re especially interested in hear from men who would like to talk to us about the women in STEM who have influenced them, especially those women who are less well known.

Credits

Episode edited by Andrew Marks.

Our links

Ep 14: Sensing chemicals, uncovering discoveries, and wiring Devon for light and power

iTunes | Google Play | RSS (Soundcloud) | Stitcher

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

00:38: Dr Raychelle Burks tells us about the challenges of making field-ready and affordable chemical sensors and how tricky it is to accurately analyse the colours in photographs.

23:45: Why is it so hard to tell the stories of women’s discoveries and inventions?

27:46: Anne Locker, the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Library and Archives Manager, talks about the life and work of Margaret Partridge, an electrical engineer whose company installed electric lighting and power in Devon.

Our interviewees

Dr Raychelle Burks

Dr Raychelle BurksDr Raychelle Burks is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at St. Edward’s University. Her research focuses on the development of detection methods for a wide variety of drugs and explosives.

Beyond the bench and classroom, she is a popular science communicator. She appears on the Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science and in ACS Reactions videos, plus writes a monthly forensic science column for Chemistry World, the magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry. A passionate STEM outreach advocate, she is the creator and manager of GeekGirlCon’s DIY Science Zone.

Anne Locker

AAnne Locker sqnne Locker is head of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s  Library and Archives. She has worked extensively on the history of engineering and electrotechnology, and has a particular interest in the history of women in engineering and technology and the introduction of domestic electricity into the modern home.

For more information on the IET’s Library and Archives collections, including the archives of the Women’s Engineering Society, please visit theiet.org/library.

 

Margaret PartridgeIn this episode, Anne talks about pioneering electrical engineer Margaret Partridge (right), who in the early 20th century ran a business installing electric power and lighting to houses and villages in rural Devon. Partridge was a keen supporter of women in engineering, taking on many as apprentices. She also lectured at the Electrical Association for Women, co-authored The Electrical Handbook for Women, and contributed to the EAW’s  journal, The Electrical Age.

Discovery of the month

This month, we explore some of the challenges we’ve faced when researching women’s inventions and discoveries, and why it’s so hard to tell some of these stories.

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.

Get in touch!

If you’d like to send us feedback about the show, or if you’d like to take part, please email us. We’re especially interested in hear from men who would like to talk to us about the women in STEM who have influenced them, especially those women who are less well known.

Credits

Episode edited by Andrew Marks.

Our links