Dr Cristina Tuinea-Bobe
Research & Knowledge Transfer Development Officer
What is your area of study/research?
Biomedical engineering with specialisation in: surface characterization, surface chemistry modification, surface structuring of polymers, material properties modification via processing, stretchable conductors, biomedical devices.
What influenced you to study/research in your field?
I always liked math and physics the best at school but didn’t really wanted to be a teacher so I choose engineering after I studied economics. Further so after few years of studying semiconductors and having a PhD in microelectronics, the interest turned towards medical applications. So I mashed the engineering together with medicine and I applied for a Marie Curie fellowship as this sounded most interesting to me. My project looked at early detection of pressure ulcers. This is a hot topic for the NHS and for all the medical systems around the world.
What inspires you to continue in your field?
My move to the University of Bradford opened a new avenue in my career. The interface with industry and the possibility to see research turned in real life used devices gives high satisfaction and motivation to continue. When high class research helps saving lives or improves the quality of life is enough inspiration to dedicate your professional life to a field.
What would you say to young females to encourage them to progress into your field?
Girls and young women today are pretty familiar with science and technology, and it may seem they don't need encouragement anymore. But, to keep girls interested in science, as well as believing they have something to contribute to areas like technology, hardware and software development, scientific research, and many other areas of technology is still an important task.
What I would say to the young students and scientists is that this is one of the most rewording jobs you could have. The everyday challenges that you face will strengthen your technical skills and your human skills. Biomedical engineering it’s an area that looks to convert engineers into carers. You will need empathy and that kindness to treat human related technical issues in an environment that is very dynamic and divers. This are lessons not just for your professional life but as well helps you to become an all-around human with special qualities.
I'm proud to be female and an engineer, though this is getting more and more run-of-the-mill these days, thank goodness! In my group I was the only woman until September last year. I get to create things which help people feel or do better! This should be enough to be proud to be an engineer. I am certainly not embarrassed to be an engineer.
I remember being a young researcher and meeting the Titans – it happens to all of us in science; it is a memorable moment to meet somebody that wrote history in your area. In 2009 I met the two inventors of stretchable conductors. That was memorable!