I would like to nominate Dr Katherine Hooper. I have worked with Katherine for some years now, having completed her doctorate at Swansea University under the supervision of Dr Trystan Watson before becoming a PDRA on the SPECIFIC project.
When I first met Katherine she seemed a rather shy and reserved person, she was sometimes nervous with presenting work even though she was very knowledgeable about her research. Over the last few years Katherine has shown how strong a character she is by constantly pushing herself beyond her comfort zone. Although, as we all do, she will sometimes get nervous about presenting work and public speaking, this never stops her; recently she came second in the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining young lecturing competition. A good example would be the first time Famelab came to Swansea last year where her goal was simply to participate in it because it was something she really wanted to do but couldn’t imagine being able to.
On top of this she has become a vital part of the research team, always encouraging others, helping with the supervision of students, organising the lab and just generally always being on hand and willing to help out.
Last year Katherine set out a number of challenges that she wanted to achieve, such as running two 10Ks, taking part in Famelab, presenting at several conferences, and helping out with Materials Live outreach days.
Katherine is a constant inspiration, not just to me but to everyone around her, just in the way she pushes herself constantly, never fearing to leave her comfort zone. She is also extremely bright and a fantastic scientist and someone I am very proud to call my colleague and friend.