28 November 2023. Brought to you by Chris Hamlett.

Anna Dickinson-Lomas

What is your current job / programme of study?

First year PhD student, Materials Science & Engineering.


What A-Levels (or equivalent) did you do?

Maths, Further Maths & Chemistry (with AS levels in French and Politics).


Why did you choose a career in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)?

What first drew me in was the range of different smart materials, such as materials in ballet shoes that can be soft to mould to the dancer’s foot, but then harden on impact to support them as they dance en pointe. This really interested me as I love to dance, so it was a way to connect my hobbies with my studies!


What did you enjoy most about your MSE course? (If you didn’t do a MSE course which course did you do and what led to you MSE?)

What I liked most about my course was the broad scope of materials and applications covered, and the opportunity to study a wide range all the way through. The best part was all of the time I got to spend in the labs, doing real practical hands-on science.


What is your research about?

The removal of polymer coatings & binders from NdFeB magnets used in a variety of electronic applications.


What is the coolest thing you have done in your career so far?

I got to operate a digger and a dump truck at the Caterpillar site in Leicester.


What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Something sciencey for the environment – if it’s not sustainable, what’s the point?


What is your favourite material (and why)?

Magnets! They are so useful in everyday life, and just kind of cool and magical even if you know the science behind them.


What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Don’t let decisions weigh too heavily on you, because the outcome of the option you don’t choose is forever unknown. The path you choose is the one you can work with, so don’t dwell on what you didn’t do… This might not seem useful but I find it helps to gain some perspective 😊