Ruth LawsonEvery day is different

Have you ever thought about working as an engineer? An event at Imperial helped Ruth discover that it was her ideal job.

"One day I could be developing new features involving optics, electronics and software and the next I could be designing an experiment to prove an idea. Each day is different and exciting and provides challenges both small and large."


My interest in science started in primary school, particularly when we started to do experiments. I then had a fantastic physics teacher at secondary school, where nearly every lesson focused on experiments and linking theories to real life. That was great, as I think that being able to work out what might happen before you test it and then finding out why you were correct (or not) is very interesting.

Imperial has overall more males than females, but the ratio varies course to course. I don’t think my experience was different to my male colleagues."

I decided to study physics at university as I could continue doing the subject I loved, while also preparing myself for a career in engineering. I’m from the countryside, so wanted to study in a city and move away from home. Imperial had a good reputation for physics and for STEM subjects, so I made it my first choice.

Imperial has overall more males than females, but the ratio varies course to course. I don’t think my experience was different to my male colleagues. I enjoyed spending time in the lab and particularly learning about lasers. I was able to join clubs and societies (mountaineering and orchestra) and make both male and female friends. There was something for everyone at Imperial.

The Physics Department at Imperial runs an Industry Club to help students meet possible employers. A one of these events I found the company Renishaw and applied for a graduate ‘scientific’ position. I’ve been working there since I graduated.

As Systems Design Engineer I have had placements in Raman Spectroscopy and Encoders, which both require physicists. I enjoy the wide variety of work that comes with Systems Design, where all parts of the instrument need to work well together.

One day I could be developing new features involving optics, electronics and software and the next I could be designing an experiment to prove an idea. Each day is different and exciting and provides challenges both small and large.

If you like solving problems and discovering new ideas, STEM subjects never get boring.