28 February 2024. Brought to you by Taya Stankevych.

Melisha Barboza

What is your current programme of study?

BEng Materials Science and Engineering

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

Physics, Maths, Chemistry

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

I really wanted to do a degree that allowed me to explore different fields, that was broad but allowed for specialism and most importantly fuelled innovation and creativity as an engineer. Due to the variety within MSE your knowledge is huge as you study over the degree period really allowing you to find your interest and come up with new ideas pulling from different aspects around other fields.

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?)

Personally, I enjoy electroceramics and material chemistry. Being able to see how very small microscopic changes make such a huge difference to the material output is fascinating and rewarding when you get it just right. Also the fact that the field has such huge scope with energy being such a large sector means there is constant development that can be used in the real world.

As well as the actual science, the people that do MSE always show a genuine love for the subject and are always willing to share their knowledge and learn.

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

Speaking at the Student Sustainability Research Conference (SSRC2024) at The University of Leeds has been the coolest and the most nerve-inducing thing I have done so far in my career. Getting the opportunity to speak at a conference about my contribution to the future of sustainability is really rewarding and truly keeps me wanting to do more.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Hopefully, I would like to be working in a job that allows me to find engineering solutions in sustainable energy. The world’s energy crisis is a real issue and I believe that work we do today needs to be for a better future. I would hope to stay in the area of electroceramics but hope to also widen my knowledge. I also see myself still working in outreach projects, promoting STEM and MSE.

What is your favourite material (and why)?

This is kind of a strange answer, but wood! Wood has been used in civilization since the beginning of time and is still used to this day and is often unmatched in fields such as musical instruments. It is at its core a natural composite that is very strong, lightweight and biodegradable. Wood has often been the reference material for composites. I think it reminds us to always take a look at nature when designing new materials.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

You will end up exactly where you are meant to be and to enjoy the journey and people you meet along the way. Also please learn to budget!



About Us (womeninengineering.org.uk)