To celebrate International Women’s Day and British Science Week the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) interviewed five leading women in science share their thoughts on choosing a career in science and advice for the next generation for a blog. One of the women interviewed was Professor Rachel Williams.
Professor Williams is a Professor of Ophthalmic Bioengineering in the Department of Eye and Vision Science, Interim Institute Research Lead and Deputy Head of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease. She works closely with clinical ophthalmology colleagues on several cross-disciplinary projects. Currently an EPSRC Engineering for Growth fellow working on ‘Building advanced materials to treat vision loss. In 2014 Professor Williams was recognised as an EPSRC RISE leader in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering.
What inspired you to pursue a career in science/engineering?
“I always enjoyed science at school and my parents were medics so there were always discussions around science and medicine at home. I was better at physics and maths and this led me to want to use my interests to address problems in medicine.
“I have found this to be a hugely rewarding career and the cross-disciplinary aspects means I am always learning new things.”
What advice would you give to the next generation of women?
“Find out what interests you and find out how to make it happen. I have found that it is sometimes necessary to reach outside your ‘comfort zone’ but by doing so the rewards are well worth it. So aim high and don’t be surprised when you achieve your goals.”
To read the full EPSRC blog entitled ‘Celebrating Women in Science and British Science Week’ please click here.