The Watson Forum is a series of (informal) interviews that seek to highlight contributions of women in the areas of numerical modelling, simulation, and programming in the context of Maths, Physics, Earth Sciences and Engineering.

The Watson Forum is aimed at motivating young ladies to embark in numerical and modelling topics, and to project ‘real’ female modelling role models to the world! Many of the interviewees have hybrid careers that combine modelling with other activities, such as experimental and field work. The videos are collected, edited, and uploaded onto a youtube channel: 

Watson Forum Project

During the interview the modellers are asked a variation of these three questions:

  • Describe your work as a modeller / Why are models important in your work / Why is modelling a useful tool in your work?
  • What are the advantages of modelling / pursuing a modelling career / what does a model/modelling allow you to do?
  • If you could send yourself a message to your teenage self, what career advice would you give yourself?

In the context of the Watson Forum, modelling is any activity that pertains to building any type of models (mathematical, geometric, computational, numerical, geological) to understand natural or manmade processes. This may include quantification, interpretation, prediction, simulation, visualisation, imitation, inspection, simplification, and many other activities related to understanding the world around us.

By highlighting the work of women in the simulation arena (in both industry and academia) we hope to increase the impact of their work, while encouraging others to pursue such careers. The Watson Forum is a project driven by Dr Adriana Paluszny ( PhD student Haifa Al Salmi is a volunteer of the project and is currently the guest editor for Season 3 and 4. The fourth season of the Watson Forum is currently being filmed. 

Season 1
Dr Sunshine Abbott
Dr Chandra Amber Taposeea
Dr Laura Petrescu
Dr Philippa Mason
Dr Rebecca Bell
Dr Maartje Boon

Season 2
Dr Veerle Vandeginste
Dr Eva-Maria Graefe
Dr Cleo Kontoravdi
Dr Janice Kenney
Dr Hannah Bentham
Prof Ann Muggeridge

Season 3
Dr Ghazal Izadi
Dr Chloe Arson
Dr Paula Gago
Jennifer Quye Sawyer
Haifa Al Salmi
Dr Shubhangi Gupta
Dr Eren Ucar
Dr Silvia De Simone




Janet Vida Watson (1923-1995). First female graduate of the Geology Department, graduating with first class honours in 1947. She was appointed Senior Lecturer in Geology in 1973 and awarded a personal Chair in 1974, becoming Imperial’s third woman professor.