Latest from UCL Women

Hanna Vehkamäki at our next BYO lunch networking session

All around the world, there are fascinating women doing fascinating research. We are fortunate enough to have one such person in town for our next bring-your-own lunch networking meeting – all the way from Finland. At the same time, you can meet other friendly colleagues and get to know more people in your own neighbourhood.

Join us on 7 June 2016 for an informal talk by Professor Hanna Vehkamäki, a physicist at the University of Helsinki specializing in atmospheric sciences.

We’ll meet from 12.30 to 2 PM. Please note that the venue is different this month: the Barlow room on the 8th floor of the Roberts Building (Engineering, entrance in Malet Place). There will be light refreshments provided, but if you want a proper lunch, bring your own or buy one from the ground-floor café or one of the many eateries in Torrington Place.

Speaker

To carry on in our series “Who am I – what am I doing?”, our inspiring speaker is Hanna Vehkamäki. The title of her talk is, “Is gender equality a reality for STEM women in the University of Helsinki?”

We look forward to seeing you there!

Hanna’s biography

Hanna
Photo credit: Vapa Media

After completing her DPhil in theoretical physics at University of Helsinki, Hanna spent 1998-1999 as a post-doctoral researcher at UCL, after which she returned to Helsinki. She is now a professor in computational aerosol physics, studying cluster and nanoparticle formation in the atmosphere on a molecular level. She has led the equality and work well-being group in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences in the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki since 2011. Hanna will speak about efforts to understand why female members of the STEM community feel less appreciated and consider the practices of the workplace less fair than do their male counterparts, as well as proposing practices to alleviate the situation. She will also comment on whether combining family and a scientific career might differ between Finland and the UK.

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Belinda Brown at our next BYO lunch networking session

Feeling isolated, bogged down in work, unconnected or just in need of a change of scene? You can’t work all of the time. If you’ve not been before, why not make May the month you decide to finally meet other amiable and inspiring colleagues at our next bring-your-own lunch meeting?

Join us on 11 May 2016 for an informal talk by Belinda Brown, a Research Fellow at the Young Foundation and Research Associate at the UCL Centre for Transport Studies. The title of her talk will be “Do Gender Equality Policies further Meritocracy?”

We’ll meet from 12.30 to 2 PM. Please come to room 305 of the hospitable Department of Psychology: 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP (the same place as usual).

How to get there

Go to the seminar room on the 3rd floor. You can buy drinks and sandwiches at the Café next door to the seminar room, or bring your own! Step-free access is available immediately to the right of the main entrance.

Speaker

To carry on in our series “Who am I – what am I doing?”, our inspiring speaker is Belinda Brown. She’ll be telling us about herself, her career and some of her thinking about gender equality policies.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Belinda’s biography

Belinda

Belinda is a Research Fellow at the Young Foundation and Research Associate at the UCL Centre for Transport Studies. She has conducted research on a wide range of areas including childcare, migration and children’s independent mobility. She started writing and speaking on family, gender and feminism when she gave up work to care for her sick husband and is now a regular contributor to The Conservative Woman, The Daily Mail and Women’s Hour. She is author of The Private Revolution: Women in the Polish Underground Movement and a number of well-cited academic papers. She recently set up the Gender Equity Network with Dr John Barry and Professor Geoff Dench.

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Gerta Vrbová at our next BYO Lunch Meeting

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to come out of hibernation and get networking! Meet other amiable and inspiring colleagues at our next bring-your-own lunch meeting.

Join us on 27 April 2016 for an informal talk by Gerta Vrbová, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Neuroscience in the Division of Biosciences.

We’ll meet from 12.30 to 2 PM. Please come to room 305 of the hospitable Department of Psychology: 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP (the same place as usual).

How to get there

Go to the seminar room on the 3rd floor. You can buy drinks and sandwiches at the Café next door to the seminar room, or bring your own! Step-free access is available immediately to the right of the main entrance.

Speaker

To carry on in our series “Who am I – what am I doing?”, our inspiring speaker is Gerta Vrbová. She’ll be telling us about herself, her amazing life story and her long and illustrious career.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Gerta’s biography

Gerta-Vrbova
Gerta Vrbová in 2014, and with husband, Rudolf Vrba, in Bratislava after the war [picture from Daily Mirror]

Gerta Vrbová (born 1926, in Slovakia) wrote “Archibald V. Hill’s Contribution to Science and Society”. She herself lived through the Holocaust. The story of her escape to England, where she eventually became a professor at UCL, is like an adventure novel.

As an academic she was able to gain permission to travel between the Soviet states of Eastern Europe, and on a visit to a conference in Poland in 1958, she decided to make her escape. Travelling on foot across the mountains back to Czechoslovakia, she collected her children aged four and six, crossed the Polish Czechoslovak border with them and took a train to Warsaw. Having unofficially entered the names of children on her passport, she was able to obtain a transit visa for Copenhagen, from where, after a year, she was able finally to come to England. [Adapted from David Colquhoun’s website feature]

For more information about Gerta, see also this interview in the Physiological Society Oral History Project

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Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell: our speaker for International Women’s Day week 2016

During the week of International Woman’s Day, UCL Women hosts an annual lecture by a high-profile female scientist. Last year we launched the initiative with a talk from Elizabeth Blackburn. This year, we are thrilled to announce that our speaker will be Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered the first radio pulsar.

Launch of IYA 2009, Paris - Grygar, Bell Burnell cropped.jpg

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE, FRS, PRSE, FRAS. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

The title of her talk is: “Women in STEM – at home and abroad”

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Reception in North Cloisters, Wilkinson Building, University College London, Gower Street. London WC1E 6BT at 17.15

Lecture in Darwin B40 Lecture Theatre at 18.00

The lecture is free but seats are limited: book now to avoid disappointment!

We are indebted to the Provost of UCL, Michael Arthur, and to the Vice-Provost for Research, David Price, for financial support for this event.

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Event: Working with the Media

Communicating with the media is an essential skill for all scientists in this day and age. Please join us for an exciting event on 8 February to learn more about it!

This event is free but booking is required – register here.

Hope to see you there!

Media

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Wine-tasting event!

Wine

Back by popular demand! Relax, have fun and network at our wine-tasting event on Tuesday November 17th at 5:30 pm in the Wilkins Garden Room.

Kathy Burk, UCL Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary History and author of Is This Bottle Corked? The Secret Life of Wine, will present the wine tasting.  She has assembled a lovely array of fine wines from Spain, France, Argentina, England, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. One common trait links them together: the winemakers are all women. A variety of delicious nibbles will be provided to complement the drinks.

Partners and friends are welcome!

Tickets are limited (£25 – because there will be lots of excellent wine!) – get yours here.

Hope to see you there!

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23 October: Bring-Your-Own-Lunch Meeting – featuring Sarah Bell

It’s a new academic year, and it’s time to get networking! Meet other stimulating and friendly colleagues at our next bring-your-own lunch meeting. Join us on 23 October for an informal talk by Dr Sarah Bell from the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering.

We’ll meet from 12.30 to 2 PM. Please come to room 305 of the hospitable Department of Psychology: 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP (the same place as usual).

How to get there

Go to the seminar room on the 3rd floor. You can buy drinks and sandwiches at the Café next door to the seminar room, or bring your own! Step-free access is available immediately to the right of the main entrance.

Speaker

To carry on in our series “Who am I – what am I doing?”, our inspiring speaker is Sarah Bell. She’ll be telling us about herself, her career, and her work on the UCL Engineering Exchange and how this is increasing the impact of her research and helping communities.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sarah’s biography

SarahBell

Sarah Bell is an environmental engineer whose research relates to the sustainability of urban water systems. She is interested policy and social aspects of sustainability, and how they relate to new technologies and infrastructure. Her work addresses water efficiency, water recycling, green infrastructure and options for new water resources. Her ongoing research investigates how to engage communities in infrastructure design to meet needs for food, water and energy. She started her engineering career at an aluminium smelter in Australia, after studying environmental engineering and chemistry. Concerns about carbon emissions and the impact of the industry on climate change led her to a PhD in Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University. Her PhD research and early academic career focussed on sustainable agriculture and land management. Since joining UCL in 2005 she has returned to engineering and has led projects including the UCLoo Festival of alternative sanitation, and London 2062 which addressed the future of London. She has received awards for her teaching on the MSc Environmental Systems Engineering (RAEng Excellence in Teaching) and the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (Provost’s Teaching Awards – team teaching). In 2015 she was a British Science Association Media Fellow, covering science, engineering and the environment for Londonist. She is currently director of the UCL Engineering Exchange, which aims to improve engagement between local communities and engineering research.

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UCL Women speed dating event!

Ever wish you could increase your network at UCL, but you just don’t have the time? Then this event is for you.

On Thursday June 25th from 5:30pm in the Haldane Room, we’ll be hosting a fun speed dating event, where you can make useful connections and friends. It promises to be a hectic whirlwind as you meet lots of other UCL Women – but don’t worry, you’ll have a glass of wine in your hand to make it easier!

Tickets are £5 – see you there!

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The UCL Women Walk returns!

Walk

Spring is finally here, and it’s time to get some fresh air – while networking at the same time! Please join us on Saturday June 6th for a 6.2 mile walk with fabulous views along The Ridgeway National Trail in Buckinghamshire. Following a route used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers, the 87-mile-long Ridgeway passes through ancient landscapes, downland, secluded valleys and woodland.

We will meet at 10am at Wendover Station.

Bring a picnic! The pub is at the end!

Please RSVP to info[at]uclwomen.org so that we know who to expect and can exchange mobile numbers.

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Drop-in lunch in the Housman Room, 23 April

Please join us for an informal lunch at the UCL Housman Room on Thursday 23 April. We will be congregating between 12.00 and 1.30 – if you aren’t sure where we we are on the day, look for Sally Day and Helen Wilson, whose photos are on IRIS. Please remember that access to the staff room is for members only, but membership is cheap and easy to acquire – and very useful in general. See here for more information.

We look forward to catching up!

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