I live with my husband in Reading but I have lived previously in France, Scotland and North England and I am coming from Bulgaria. I love swimming and every time I see the sea I am very happy. I love photography and travel.
I was born in Bulgaria where I have lived for about 20 years. There I have graduated from school, university and fell in love with my husband. I have been part of the ERASMUS program, available for exchange students in Europe. I have been awarded this scholarship and went to France for 1 year. From several good candidates, I have been given the opportunity to do a PhD in the same laboratory in France. After I have defended my PhD, I was unemployed for one year. I have lived there for 5 years in total. Being without a job made me a stronger person and I was able to find a postdoc position at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. I fall in love with Scotland and I gained a lot of experience in science and research. At the end of my PostDoc (3 years in total) I have been offered a paternity replacement position at Johnson Matthey near Newcastle. This was only 6 months post. I didn’t have certainly but went to an interview and I have been offered my current permanent job in Reading. During all of these moving and life-changing situations, my husband was all the time with me. He is my biggest support.
I am working on the catalyst that is present in a diesel car, I am trying to make them better, have a longer life and are less dangerous for the environment. I am preparing these catalysts, testing them, characterising them and thus trying to understand fundamentally how we can make them better.
My Typical Day:
I wake up and have a cup of tea and watch some TV shows. I get to work at 8 am, where I do lots of experiments and tests in the lab. Then I have lunch with friends, and in the afternoon it’s back to the lab to look at my results. I go home at 5 pm. I go out for a run and later make some dinner with my husband.
I wake up quite difficult at around 7 am and then I make myself a cup of tea that is made of herbs. I watch some TV shows which are about vampires and the supernatural. Then, I put myself on makeup, clothes and drive to work for about 10-15 min. I do lots of experiments and tests in the lab during the day. I have a lot of meetings, presentations and reports as well. After a long day, I go home and rest or go out for a run with my headphones. This helps me put my thoughts in order. In the evening I cook with my husband and me then we watch TV reality shows like Survior. We have a cup of tea with peace of chocolate and then go to bed.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would give them to families that don’t have access to school education for their kids or they don’t have money for their clothes.
School – Number 24 in my neighbourhood – from age 7 to 14. Then National School for Science – 5 years.
University – Sofia University – bachelor and master for 5 years
University of Caen, France – doctorate (PhD)
These are very different in my country of origin. After 12 years at school, I have a bachelor’s degree qualification – Teacher in chemistry and informatics. Master degree- Material Chemist and PhD degree in chemistry
During my university years, I have worked as a shop assistant. I was selling clothes, shoes and toys for kids. After my PhD, I have worked 3 years at the University of St Andrews as a researcher in material chemistry.
Currently, I am a Research scientist in a big company that wants to make the world cleaner and healthier.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
sea-lover chemist researcher
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Chips made by cheese
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To have kids, house and happy life.
Tell us a joke.
The teacher is asking a student: John, tell me honestly, who wrote your homework?. He replies: "Ma'am, I honestly don't know! I went to bed early