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Mhairi Rogan

Thin FIlms Process Scientist

NOVOSOUND LTD.

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Don’t let Imposter’s Syndrome keep you from where you deserve to be.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I use physical vapour deposition methods to create a piezoelectric thin film which can be used as a cheap, flexible and high-resolution material for ultrasonic imaging.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

The University which I attended for my degree has a large thin-films and coatings department so I was exposed to this area of research. One of my lecturers spun-out the company that I am employed at currently from the University in 2018 and was able to give me a job. This led on to a joint Novosound-University of the West of Scotland Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership which I recently completed.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

I left school at 16 with no qualifications. When I became pregnant at 20, I realised that I would need to improve my life for my child. When my son was 6 months old, I went to college and completed my school level qualifications over two years. This allowed me to go to the University of the West of Scotland to study Physics. I studied, worked and completed summer projects & STEM outreach events as a single parent over the 4 years of undergraduate until I graduated in 2018 and began with my current employer. I

I tackle obstacles mainly through collaboration. I believe that people are always willing to help, and no one wants to see you fail.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I would like to be able to tell myself that it would all be ok. Finding out that you are pregnant in a difficult situation can feel like the end of your life but it was the beginning of mine.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love the opportunity to be analytical and critical about the work that I carry out. My job has allowed me to travel around the world and meet some really incredible people - and I am still only in my early career. I can't wait to see where I am in 5-10 years.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Just do it. I spend my entire time studying thinking I would fail and I didn't. Don't let Imposters Syndrome keep you from where you deserve to be.

INSPIRATION

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is mere tenacity" Amelia Earhart