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Top 50 accolade for Cardiff engineer

29 June 2017

Dr Catrin Williams with award

Dr Catrin Williams, from the School of Engineering, has been named in the UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35.

The list, compiled by The Telegraph in collaboration with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), features the UK’s most promising female engineers chosen from more than 500 nominations.

The publication of the list coincided with International Women in Engineering Day, an event set up to highlight the amazing careers in engineering and technical roles for girls, and celebrate the outstanding achievements of women engineers.

Dr Williams said: “I am absolutely honoured to be named on such a prestigious list of inspiring and talented women...”

“I’ve received a huge amount of support from colleagues to get to where I am and I hope that this recognition can be used to show young girls that being an engineer is not only a worthwhile career option, but also a really fun and exciting field to work in.”

Dr Williams is currently a Sêr Cymru Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and studies how electromagnetic fields interact with biological systems.

Originally from Ystradgynlais, Dr Williams studied for her degree and PhD in the School of Biosciences before conducting an 18-month postdoctoral project based in industry with Cultech Ltd. Dr Williams then moved back to Cardiff University for another 18-month postdoctoral project at the Centre for High Frequency Engineering and the School of Biosciences, before taking up her Sêr Cymru Fellowship.

In addition to her research, Dr Williams is also a keen science communicator and has taken part in a number of media interviews and outreach events in both English and Welsh.

“New technologies and treatments”

Dr Williams continued: “My area of work put simply is about looking at the impact microwaves -- found in common devices such as mobile phones, Wi-Fi and microwave ovens to more advanced equipment such as those used in hospitals for treating cancers and heart diseases -- have on living things.

“Specifically I look at the hidden or longer term impacts these microwaves might be having on us, such as potential molecular changes in our cellular make-up. Additionally, we can also look at how potential destructive outcomes can be used to our advantage, such as in the development of new technologies and treatments that lead to the more efficient and effective removal or avoidance of cancers and some cardiac diseases.

“This is why this area of research is so exciting and important.”

Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), the organisation that founded International Women in Engineering Day, commented: “We had a very high response to the campaign this year and were hugely impressed with the entries...”

“This list of inspirational younger women shows the breadth and depth of talent and innovation across all engineering sectors.”

Kirsten Bodley Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society

“It is a great way of encouraging the next generation to enter the engineering and allied sectors and for women to succeed there.”

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