Jess is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Physics. This profile was produced for Diverse@Imperial 2018.

Dr Jess WadeWho inspires you?

My mum, Dr Charlotte Feinmann, who is a consultant liaison psychiatrist at UCL and in general a kick-ass mother. Imperial is full of inspirational women, such as Professor Ji-Seon Kim who leads the nano-analysis research group; Professor Jenny Nelson, who wrote the go-to book on the physics of solar cells and Professor Lesley Cohen, who works to support academic women across College alongside her research into magnetic materials. If I become one-eighth of the physicists these women are, I’ll be happy.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a scientist?

Before I studied physics I went to art school for a year, so I might be an illustrator. I seem to spend most of my time talking about how much the country needs science teachers, so there is a chance I’d be causing chaos back at school in the science labs. I also love cooking, and part of me considers dropping everything to become an intern at the famous Noma restaurant in Copenhagen.

"I would find ways to support students from all underrepresented backgrounds during their time at Imperial so that all graduates had the same opportunities for success"

What was the last book you read?

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong by Angela Saini, an Oxford-trained engineer with a phenomenal career in popular science writing. It is an incredible journey into the science and scientists behind the stereotypes we have about women, and the champions throughout history who fought for truth.

If you were the College Provost for a day, what one thing would you do to make Imperial more diverse and inclusive?

I would find ways to support students from all underrepresented backgrounds during their time at Imperial so that all graduates had the same opportunities for success. I feel that the current system fails them somehow and I think a more supportive community with mentors, career guidance and networks could make a difference.