We’re delighted to welcome our next curator, Dr Suze (Sujata) Kundu (@FunSizeSuze). Suze has a BSc in Chemistry, a MSc in Analytical Chemistry and a PhD in Materials Chemistry from University College London. She’s also pursued MEd and other teaching degrees. Suze was formerly a lecturer at the Department of Materials at Imperial College London and at the University of Surrey’s Chemical and Process Engineering Department, but is now head of community engagement at Digital Science.
So: why is Suze in science?
To make the world a better place, while satisfying my curiosity about how the world works.
We asked Suze to tell us about her work and history.
Nanotechnology is multidisciplinary, and enables me to expand my knowledge rather than narrow it down into one tiny area. Artificial photosynthesis is an amazing area of nature-inspired nanomaterials solving current global problems, with applications as everyday as helping us power our homes and vehicles in a clean and sustainable way, to potentially being the source of fuel to get us back from far flung planets. Having moved into working for the technology company Digital Science, I am able to keep a more active hand in research, while helping the company make the scientific process as easy, collaborative and productive as possible.
I left lecturing in formal academia a few months ago and joined Digital Science as Head of Public a Engagement. The company is made up of lots of former academics who wanted to make the scientific process better, whether that is through increased output through easier collaboration, through to easier channels to openly share the scientific progress being made. Digital Science have a portfolio company for practically every stage of the research cycle, and continue to cultivate new ideas through schemes like their Catalyst Grant. As Head of Public Engagement, I work with colleagues and our range of tools to aks questions about the research landscape, whether that is about gender imbalance or the potential impact of Brexit on research in the UK, and create a range of ways to engage a range of different groups with cutting edge research, whether they are school kids or policy makers, through reports, videos, events, and the rest. Around this, we are encouraged to keep in touch with our research interests, which gives us a good insight into the dynamic research culture we are trying to make even better.
I have been in academia and am now enjoying an ‘AltAc’ career, one within which I may be able to contribute to a larger positive impact on the profession I love. I do a lot of fun public engagement, from writing for Forbes to presenting science shows on TV. I love to delve into the science of stuff that otherwise interests me, from dancing to fashion, and cocktails to comic book movies.
Suze’s favourite non-science activities include: Dancing, live gigs, and being a busy Catmamma to two tuxedo kittens, Faraday and Bellatrix
Ideal Day off? Brunch with friends or family, followed by a gorgeous walk across Hampstead Heath, before coming home and curling up in a wing back Chesterfield by an open fire in my dream future library with a good book, a dram of Laphroaig, and my kittens snoozing on a chair next to me. If this can still happen in London, I will be a very happy human indeed!