1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within the Department of Electronic Engineering?
I did my first degree in Physics at Nanjing University (China), then my PhD in Electronic Engineering at University of York. I was an EPSRC PDRA at University of Cambridge before joining Royal Holloway in 2016. I am currently a Reader at Electronic Engineering, and I lead the Nano-electronics and Materials group.
2. What projects are you currently working on and what are your research interests?
My research concerns spin-electronics (spintronics). The vision is to advance new materials, architectures and mechanisms in the quest to control, measure and exploit the quantum spin of electrons. Spin is a fundamental property of electrons that, unlike charge, is not exploited in conventional electronics. This leaves open the possibility of a completely new generation of electronic devices (spintronic devices) with never-before-seen capabilities. These new tools would have applications in future generations of low-dissipation logic devices, in-memory computing, and neuromorphic computing, as well as new applications as yet unthought of.
Most of my work has been carried out using high-resolution x-rays at the UK’s Diamond Light Source National Laboratory in Harwell Campus and other international synchrotron radiation national laboratories. This enables me to look ‘deep’ inside the atoms.
3. What inspired you to pursue a role in Electronic Engineering?
I joined Electronic Engineering as one of its earliest founding members of staff. The opportunity was exceptional. Working with the well diverse team at Royal Holloway is a rewarding experience, and I have enjoyed it.
4. March marks Women’s History Month, including International Women’s Day which is celebrated on 8 March. What does this year’s theme of ‘#BreakTheBias’ mean to you for your industry/subject area of expertise?
It is amazing to see excellent women joining STEM and delivering high quality work. I would not call the gender imbalance a problem but rather a challenge and an exciting opportunity to boost creativity and innovation.
5. Which women in STEM, past or present, inspire you?
I would say every woman whom I have worked with so far in STEM is great inspirations. I hope what I am doing today will encourage more women of the younger generations to choose a career in this industry.