Paola Domínguez Fernández

PhD in Computational Astrophysics

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Don't be overwhelmed by fancy words and think that you will never be able to do it because it sounds complicated.

What do you do?

I get hints on the origin of the Universe by studying the largest astrophysical laboratories: Galaxy Clusters. I use numerical simulations to study the formation and interaction of these big guys! In particular, I study their magnetic fields and try to answer questions like: 1) What is their origin? 2) How come they survived until today? 3) What processes are behind them?

Why did you choose this field?

I've always liked challenges and to do something different and unique. Physics and Astrophysics was the path. I first got inspired by a Professor at the Faculty of Science at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) where I did my Bachelors. I went there to find out what would it be like to study Physics and whenever I found this Professor, he told me: "Being a physicist is having an "S" of Superman in your chest". And I thought wow that's super cool! I want that! I wanted to understand how everything works, so I enrolled in a B. Sc. in Physics only to find out that it was the right decision because I loved it! Once I was there I chose Astrophysics because I was curious of what is outside of this world and also I wanted to know how come we exist.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I wish younger me would have known that everything that I wanted came true: I have a B. Sc. in Physics, a M. Sc. in Astrophysics and now I'm a PhD candidate pursuing a career in science.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love the fact that you are always learning something new. I think working in STEM is one of the coolest jobs because at some point you have freedom on doing the research that you want and like.

Best advice for next generation?

I would advise them to take the opportunity and do it! Don't be overwhelmed by fancy words and think that you will never be able to do it because it sounds complicated. On the contrary, challenge yourself and ask yourself why not? We need more women in STEM, who said this was a man's only job?

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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