Dr. Ayoe B. Hansen studied challenges in air pollution modelling focusing on transport, model evaluation, and human health during her PhD. She is currently employed in the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality group at the Met Office, where she conducts research into improving the use of dispersion models for emergency response in relation to volcanic and chemical dispersion. Here she tells us about how she got to this position and what excites her most in her work, amongst other things. Catch her on her soapbox in Exeter on the 11th of June.
SS: Ayoe, how did you get to your current position?
AH: After finishing high school in Denmark, I began studying physics and meteorology at the University of Copenhagen, to become a meteorologist. I soon realised that I wanted to learn more and decided to do a master’s degree in geophysics, and afterwards applied for a PhD in air pollution modelling. During my PhD I was a visiting scientist at NOAA in the US for about half a year, and I knew that I wanted to do more science and more travelling in my future career. So, when I finished my PhD I applied for a post doc position at the University of Michigan, afterwards I did another post doc in New Zealand, before moving to the UK last May.
SS: What, or who, inspired you to get a career in science?
SS: What is the most fascinating aspect of your research/work?
AH: The application to real life – the model I’m working on is actually being used every day throughout the year!
SS: What attracted you to Soapbox Science in the first place?
AH: I was attracted by the challenge of presenting my science to the general public and the open format of the presentations.
SS: Sum up in one word your expectations for the day – excitement? Fear? Thrill? Anticipation?
SS: If you could change one thing about the scientific culture right now, what would it be?
AH: The perception of women (in science)
SS: What would be your top recommendation to a female PhD student considering pursuing a career in academia?
AH: Be stubborn and do it! And know that you have to work for what you want.