Time to meet Katrina Love (She/Her)! Katrina is a materials engineer and PhD student in the UK at Sheffield Hallam University.
What kind of scientist are you?
I’m a materials engineer and am currently a first year PhD student looking at phosphate solubility and its effects on the properties of radioactive waste glasses. Simply put, I am looking at a small part of a big problem where the end goal is to have a glass composition that can be used to vitrify radioactive waste. It’s a team effort!
What made you want to become a scientist?
My parents, my high school math teacher, and a glass company. I love solving problems and doing something that can be used to help people. Engineering provides an environment that sates these two needs. Also science is super interesting and a fabulous mixture of fields that taps into lots of different skills. I, personally, enjoy being in the labs and making glass and carrying out characterisation.
“I wish I could change the visibility of past scientists, especially those who made major breakthroughs but then were glossed over in history so that someone else could claim the credit.”Katrina Love
What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I am a #UniqueScientist because I am a gay woman of colour, being half Chinese and British Jamaican, and I have dyslexia.
What’s something cool you do outside of work?
Well I practice Shodokan Aikido (it’s a martial art). I train mostly with the students from Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield University. It’s great for your fitness and confidence, but also as self-defense.
If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
I wish I could change the visibility of past scientists, especially those who made major breakthroughs but then were glossed over in history so that someone else could claim the credit, especially those who were women, POC, disabled, queer or any other marginalised group.
“I love solving problems and doing something that can be used to help people. Engineering provides an environment that sates these two needs.”Katrina Love
Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
Those who inspire me include both my parents. They are strong individuals who have overcome diversity, prejudice and discrimination to better their lives for themselves and their family. Without their sacrifice I most definitely would not be where I am now.
My high school Math teacher gave me the confidence to engage with and persevere with maths. She also introduced me to the fascinating world of engineering.
My Glass and Ceramics tutor at university has always supported me with my studies and opportunities outside of my degree, so much so I am now a part of his research group!
These are just a few people, but there are plenty more that have influenced me in big and small ways.
Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
This week, I finally got a Matlab script working that can plot my Raman spectroscopy data and stack it! Coding is quite hard for me, so the weeks of trying on and off have paid off. If you have the chance to learn a coding language, do it!
#WomenInSTEM, #QueerInSTEM, #BlackInSTEM, #MixedRaceInSTEM