Pratyaksha Purohit

Undergraduate Student, King’s College London

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STEM is such a dynamic field.

What do you do?

I am an undergraduate Theoretical Physics student from New Delhi, India; and since I moved to London a year back for my studies I have found various organisations to be a part of, and have had the privilege of being at a place from where I can inspire more and more young women to join STEM. At University, I am heavily involved in almost all STEM societies and am the President of KCL Space Society, the Outreach Officer of KCL Women in Physics and the Treasurer of KCL Women in STEM. Outside of university, I volunteer with 3 teams of the UK Students for Exploration and Development of Space, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institute of Physics among other ventures.

Why did you choose this field?

I have been very interested in Politics, and given how my entire family was very involved with the working of the government in India, I grew up learning about how we need to make relavent changes to uplift the lives of people around us, to bridge gaps of inequality and to aim for the utopian world while shattering stereotypes.

However instead of choosing a humanities background, I felt I had a better aptitude for Physics and Mathematics; and there were times I was in a philosophical conundrum about life and meaning, and how science plays a role in influencing our understanding.
So yes I have a strong inclination to act in ways to help and inspire others, but my likings drove me to pursue Physics.
I spent hours before YouTube screens and Netflix watching all sci-fi movies and shows, and documentaries and was left completely in awe of everything I saw us humans being capable of making and understanding.

I enjoy theoretical modelling of physical phenomena and behaviour, and this interest of mine was further explored during my time at university where I realised I would like to take my science background to something more applied, and hence I have decided to work in Aerospace Engineering and use the tools we make to further our understanding of the world around.

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

Achievements range from certificates and awards, to positions and statuses. I see how I got into one of the very prestigious universities of the UK, and all my leadership positions to which I was elected make me think, if I would’ve ever felt it were possible.
But the greatest achievements I would look at, would be the knowledge I have gained and the experiences which got me to where I am today. All that I learnt, all that I feel and aim for today, is in a way an achievement which I wouldn’t have otherwise felt I could’ve been. It is an achievement for me to be who I am today.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I truly aim to bridge the gender gap in STEM, and realise the importance of motivating and inspiring women to join this field through exploring their analytical skills. This cannot simply be achieved by talking about diversity and inclusion, but by providing adequate facilities to young girls to explore talents and skills which otherwise weren’t encouraged in them, due to the society’s gender roles.

Every morning, knowing that my studies and research brings me closer to understanding our very complex and beautiful world around, and to be able to be a part of a team which would technologically advance humanity is a dream I aim for. My work every morning, brings me closer to realising this dream. To know that my works would improve the lives of people, and bring joy to a world beyond just our view, is my motivation.

Best advice for next generation?

STEM is such a dynamic field. You can make and engineer machines, you can explore through the sciences, and advance our understanding of complex issues through Technology. This is the future of our world. This is what would become the most important field of them all, because it holds the key to advancement of humanity and civilisations.
Most issues of the world can be solved by using appropriate STEM skills, and it simply doesn’t fit to think womxn aren’t as skilled as men in this.
It is time for all to realise how women can bloom and flourish in this field, and have been our idols even through years of oppression and suppression that they endured.
In a time where the feminist movements are at such a rise, with the liberties and freedoms that we have today it is our responsibility to strive to be equal to men, but also our responsibility as beings, to be able to give back to the community in constructive ways.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor." ~ Elon Musk

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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