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Spotlight: Amna Shahab, PhD Student at The University of Edinburgh




Tell us a fun fact about yourself


As a primary school student, I wanted to turn part of my room into a science lab where I could build devices.


Tell us about your career journey so far


In the early stages of my study up until I earned my bachelor’s degree, I was learning from books the knowledge that academics and researchers had already amassed. Postgraduate research study has put me on a path to explore new avenues and write about them for the succeeding students to learn from.


What was your favourite subject in school and why?


Physics – Studying Physics helped me understand why things around me moved the way they did, how different objects interacted the way they did. It enabled me to have a clearer view and understanding of my surroundings which was otherwise hazy.


What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?


A bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science/engineering.


What is your favourite thing about your job?


I get to push the boundaries of human knowledge as a researcher. I get to explore futuristic ideas.


What is a normal day in your role like?


With my morning coffee, I quickly remind myself of the bigger problem my research aims to solve. Then I think about the sub-problem I intend to tackle on that day and set my agenda. I use my existing knowledge, recently published technical work, and discussion with my peers to tackle the sub-problem. After my Eureka moment of arriving at a solution, I test out and verify the solution. At the end of the day I make a mental note of what I learned during the day and what my next steps would be.


Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?


How research works: http://www.kathleenamorris.com/2019/02/26/research-lessons/




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Tel: 01383 626070

Email: sae@sserc.scot

Address: 2 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, KY11 8UU

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website