What is your current job / programme of study?
What A-Levels (or equivalent) did you do?
I passed the equivalent of A-levels in Portugal, in science with physics in the last year.
Why did you choose a career in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)?
Since I was a kid, I have always been curious about how the world around me works, so science and research were an obvious choice. The interest in materials comes from the fact that they are the basis of everything, and no invention would be possible without understanding them. Studying materials in greater depth has made me even more fascinated by them. I found the vast range that exists and that we can create. It’s truly remarkable how they all behave in different ways and how we can adapt them, sparking world innovation and progress.
What did you enjoy most about your MSE course?
I completed my course back in Portugal, and the most enjoyable aspect of it was the hands-on approach and contact with different areas and industries. Working in the laboratory and conducting experiments and analyses is a fun experience, very different from writing and studying. I embraced the challenge of understanding the obtained results and discussing them critically.
What is your research about?
Intermetallic strengthened steels for nuclear applications.
What is the coolest thing you have done in your career so far?
Finishing my PhD, moving to a new country, and studying materials for nuclear energy at Birmingham University was an exciting challenge for me.
What do you see yourself doing in the future?
In the future, I would like to make a difference through my work and share my knowledge with others. So, I envision continuing my research and contributing to scientific progress. Besides that, I would also like to teach and inspire students to have new ideas and pursue their careers in materials science.
What is your favourite material (and why)?
I have a strong preference for metals and metal composites in my work. These materials are incredibly versatile, with properties that can be adaptable, depending on the chemical composition, processing techniques or service conditions, for example. I also appreciate the potential for using reinforcement in composites, which allows us to combine the properties of different materials in new ways. Additionally, I am very interested in exploring nanomaterials, which can offer unique properties, sometimes even within the same material at different scales.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
My advice would be to work hard towards your goals, follow your passion, make your own decisions, and do what feels right for you, do not let anything discourage you from it.