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Women in Science

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Video clip: Eleanor did not set out to have a career in engineering but it allowed her to bring two of her interests, the arts and sciences, together.

So, to start off with, I wondered if you could tell me a bit about your career? From the moment you first decided to follow this path?

[Laugh] I'm not sure I ever decided. I was very mixed up over my A-Levels, and I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I ended up doing half sciences half arts. Which meant that I ended up doing six which was not a very good idea. My art teacher, took me to the Royal College of Design; sorry the Royal College of Arts industrial design final year show. And I thought that was a fantastic way of combining the two. So I wanted to be an industrial designer at aged 17, 18. And looked into what that involved, which involved getting an engineering degree [laughing], so that was why I actually took up mechanical engineering. And then in my final year of my degree course I became really, really interested in the research project I was doing, which was on ultra sound imaging. Actually, ultra sound imaging in oil pipes. But that led me to become interested in that field, and then a very chance meeting between my supervisor and someone in radiology at University College London Hospital led to my PhD project, which was actually on ultra sound imaging in the body, specifically using bubbles, which are used as an imaging contrast agent. Bubbles had cropped up in my project because they were actually causing problems with our imaging, but talking to this radiologist we discovered they can be extremely useful. So that became my PhD [laughing]. And I've just been so interested by it ever since, that I've stayed researching in this field. So, not particularly well planned, but…

No that's really interesting isn't it that just, sort of a certain set of circumstances almost. And what about the art side of things? Do you feel you've?

I still love painting. And I still love dancing so I still have plenty of art in my life, but professionally I think - there's a lot of creativity in engineering that people don't appreciate very often, so I think that side of things is easily taken care of.