To mark International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2019, The Engineer is profiling some of the top females making an impact in STEM across the UK. In this interview, Miriam Nweze gives an insight into her work as a biomechanical engineer.
What exactly do you do?
My current area of research is in the field of biomechanical engineering. Specifically, I address visual impairment and sight loss. The aim of my work is to develop a spraying device to treat retinal degenerative diseases that will help by delivering stem cells into the eye to restore the function of the eye.
What enticed you into the field?
I was searching for a career path that will help me develop a combination of different skills and still allow me to be creative with my work. With a bit of personal research, guidance from my sister and school teachers engineering was stood out among other options. I was immediately attracted to engineering as a discipline; it had the perfect collection of skills to develop. The idea to be able to offer life-changing contributions in the society challenged me even further that I wanted to among upcoming game changers in the field. The more challenging and demanding a task is, the more I am attracted to do it and produce positive results, despite the obstacles ahead.
What do you find exciting about it, what do you get out of it, why do you enjoy it?
What I enjoy the most is being able to meet with people from different backgrounds and working together towards a common goal. Every day is different for me and that brings a different challenge daily.
Why might you encourage others into the industry/consider a career in engineering?
Considering a career in engineering means you get to make a difference and also stand out from the crowd. I would especially like young girls to know that they can bring something different to the table. As long as they put their mind into it they can achieve anything. The sky is the limit!
What are some of the really interesting things you’ve worked on?
Apart from my current research, I have also worked on the Engineering Ice Cream Project (incorporating engineering-based concepts), assisting with improvement of orthopaedic implants, using medical imaging and 3D drawing to create 3D anatomical structures to help medicine, career advisor for secondary school children and various outreach and public engagement programmes.
What would you say is the biggest/greatest satisfaction you get from your career?
My greatest satisfaction is seeing the impact my contribution has over the long term. I also had the great opportunity to travel to Hawaii and present my work to over 10,000 healthcare professionals and employers. I received lots of positive feedback on my work.
Why is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) important and what does it mean to you?
It gives the opportunity to inspire other young women, meet amazing women in our field from all walks of life, but also encourages me to be the best in my field and take every opportunity available to me.