Growing up half a world away in sunny Australia, Dr Veronica Gray moved to Swansea University to join the Rolls Royce ISM as a post doc researcher at the beginning of 2014. In joining the department her role has been to develop ways of predicting how and when materials will break. This is far away from the topic of her PhD which involved quantifying atomic bonds of a material using neutron scattering. She finished her PhD part time in 3.5 years choosing to do so without scholarship working throughout the process to support herself financially. Taking this difficult path meant Veronica worked as a cleaner, commercial baker, receptionist, digital archiver of medical records, in IT, as a manager of a garage, doing computer modelling and animation in her own business, co-writing a course in electronic navigation, and was as a principle investigator on a prestigious national research grant for simulation of maritime phenomena. Doing her PhD was also interrupted by events such as Redbull Flugtag and white water rafting where she built vehicles then in fancy dress with her brother and friends alongside her, she threw herself off a cliff and down a rampaging river.
Before starting her PhD, Veronica worked as a full time Joint Systems Scientist for the Australian military in Future Operations-Joint Operations Division, where she was exposed to a wide range of environments and topics. This was her first job after obtaining a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) Honours & Bachelor of Science (Physics) from the University of Newcastle, Australia. As part of her degrees she completed her industry experience component aboard a ship as an engineer.
Veronica is a strong believer in ‘embracing the ridiculous’. She has a strong sense of adventure and when asked the questions ‘can it be done?’ often answers yes even if she doesn’t know exactly how to do it. This is because Veronica believes in not limiting her life and experiences by the things she already knows, but sees the opportunity to embrace situations where as a person she must grow and expand her horizons in order to accomplish her goals.