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Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering and Vice Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Danielle always dreamed of being a scientist when she was younger. What she loves most about her job as a Professor and Vice Dean is that “today is different from yesterday and tomorrow will be different from today.” Danielle also gets great job satisfaction from helping herself and others to understand more about the world around us.  

Age: 43

Job title: Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering and Vice Dean Faculty of Science and Engineering

Company employed by: The University of Manchester

When you were a child, what did you dream you'd be when you grew up? Scientist – always!

What is the biggest impact your work will or could have in the future?
Improving our understanding of the universe and the technology transfer that happens to help other grand challenges.

What excites you most about STEM?
You’re making a difference to the world around you and having fun doing it – what’s not to like?!

What do you love about your job and what would you change?
Today is different from yesterday and tomorrow will be different from today, which is the typical thing about my role and the reason I love it.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?
Helping me and others to understand more about the world around us. Teaching students and working with them in the labs.

What does a typical day at work involve?
Today is different from yesterday and tomorrow will be different from today, which is the typical thing about my role and the reason I love it. So far today I have had an early morning telecon with research colleagues in China at Purple Mountain Observatory, attended a faculty leadership meeting to discuss the student experience, given some feedback to colleagues who were unsuccessful in a recent interview, recorded the next episode of a podcast series I’m presenting and will spend the afternoon in the lab trying to resolve a problem with my cryogenic amplifiers for a radio telescope in Chile.

What’s the most unexpected thing about your job?
The continuing leaky pipeline for girls in engineering, despite all of the great initiatives and encouragement.

Did you have any role models when you were younger? What inspired you to do the job you’re doing now?
I can’t think of a specific scientist (I loved Star Wars and the gadgets) but I think subconsciously what definitely helped was my parents helping me to understand how the world works. They didn’t know the answers to my million questions but never said “I don’t know, go away / ask someone else” they said “I don’t know let’s find out together”.

Any influential toys during childhood?
Barbie, Little Professor calculator, simple Simon.

Your favourite subjects at school?
Physics, Music and Art

Qualifications (school/college/university):
A-levels: Maths, Physics and Chemistry, undergraduate degree: Astrophysics, Master of Science: Radio Astronomy, PhD: Electronic Engineering.

Your reason for choosing this career?
On hindsight it’s because it plays to my passions in science and engineering but I didn’t think about it at the time. The main reasons were it’s fun and it challenges me.

Tell me about your career path to date?
Batchelors in Astrophysics, Masters in Radio Astronomy, Junior Engineer at Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO), PhD candidate, senior RF Engineer (JBO), Lecturer Electronic Engineering, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor the University of Manchester.

If you could have any job what would it be? How does it differ from what you’re doing?
If I wanted another job I guess I’d be doing it. My job is awesome and I wouldn’t change it.

Your advice to a young person considering a career in STEM?
Fail…fail fast and learn.