15 May 2024. Brought to you by Taya Stankevych.

Phoebe May

What is your current job / programme of study?

2nd year PhD student at Swansea University.

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

A-level maths, physics, and chemistry, alongside AS-level biology.

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

At school I always enjoyed maths and science, especially the cross-over between chemistry and physics. It wasn’t until I started looking at university courses that I stumbled across Materials Science and Engineering. It gave me the perfect opportunity to study my favourite parts of each subject.

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?)

Studying a wide range of materials theoretically and practically gave me hands-on skills and developed my report writing – both aspects which I really enjoy. My favourite part of my course was my year in industry where I got to apply my skills by working as a Metallurgist at Cummins Inc.

What is your research about?

My research focus is on metal additive manufacturing, specifically Inconel 718 fabricated via laser powder bed fusion. The project I work on includes lots of mechanical testing, including: fatigue, creep and tensile.

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

Presenting at international conferences in America and Spain. I love travelling, so it is great to be able to do that with my research.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Working within industry where I can apply my skills and experience, but currently I am unsure what specific sector I want to work in (aerospace, automotive, nuclear etc). Also, I would still be taking part in outreach activities for MSE and promoting STEM.

What is your favourite material (and why)?

I think shape memory alloys are cool because they can ‘remember’ their shape and return to their original shape even after being bent.

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Take every opportunity you get – it might open doors for you.