Prosthetics Research Engineer
EducationSchool: Bradford Girls' Grammar School (until 2010) Sixth Form: Welbeck, Defense Sixth Form College (2010-2012). University: University of Southampton (2012-2015 and 2016-2017), Imperial College London (2018-present)
QualificationsGCSEs, A levels, BEng Aeronautics and Astronautics, MSc Biomedical Engineering
Work HistoryUniversity of Southampton, Imperial College London, Decoded
Current JobPhD Student and Data Mentor
Favourite thing to do in my job: Work out what my data is telling me using programming (with a cup of tea in hand)
About Me: Hi, I'm Shruti! I'm 25 and living in London. I always loved science and engineering and wanted to use my skills to help people.
My name is Shruti and I am 25 years old. I live in London, which is also where I work, but originally I am from Yorkshire. If you’re not sure where I am, you can find me with my headphones in listening to Harry Potter.
I think my favourite film ever is Disney’s Mulan (if you haven’t seen it, you really should!) and it has been my favourite film since I was about 6. My favourite snack is cheese and biscuits and my favourite drink is tea.
I love food and spending time with my friends. In my spare time I like to keep fit and healthy, and to travel when I can.
My Work: I'm researching into artificial limbs for people who have lost their legs, known as prosthetics.
I spend my time researching into an area that’s really interesting to me: developing artificial legs for people who have lost theirs perhaps through illness or in the military. There are lots of really cool legs out there, some for skiing or sailing and other with computer controlled joints. My work is focused on making sure that people have the most comfortable legs possible so they can get up and about walk, skiing or doing whatever else they want!
I use a mixture of qualitative research methods, programming, electronics and data analysis to reach my goal.
I recently did a TEDxYouth talk sharing my research. You can watch it (it’s only 12 minutes) here if you’re interested in the work I do.
My Typical Day: Each day is different: sometimes I'm reading papers to learn more, some days I'm computer programming, some days I'm writing papers to be published and other days I am teaching or testing with amputee participants to improve the technology.
When you do a PhD, there’s lots to keep you busy! The great thing about a PhD is that what you do with your days is decided by you. I have a supervisor to help guide me, but I don’t have a manager who gives me tasks to do every day. If I’m particularly tired one day, I can decide not to come into work until lunchtime, but if I’m really motivated on the weekend I can do some work then to get ahead. It’s all very flexible.
Generally, I like to get into the office for about 8am (because if I start early, I can finish early!) The first thing I do is sort my emails and see if there’s anything interesting or that needs my attention. Then I will start on my work.
As an engineer, there are lots of different things I need to be able to do to complete my research. There is the science and maths side of things to design solutions to make artificial legs more comfortable, but also I have to be able to write and give presentations so I can tell people about my work. I do a lot of programming too as I am writing a web application for people to use to help make artificial legs more comfortable.
I like to teach as well, so I teach both maths and programming to other students studying for their degrees in medicine and engineering. This doesn’t take too long, only a few hours a week so it is a nice break from my desk work.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Foodie, traveller, determined
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I wanted to help people.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Aerospace Engineer in the Royal Air Force
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Never - maybe I missed out?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Data Scientist for a medical non-profit organisation/charity
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Red Hot Chili Peppers
What's your favourite food?
Caramel Chocolate Digestives
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went to Lapland for my honeymoon - it was a great week in the snow!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. To be have enough time in the day to do everything I want. 2. To be so smart that I could pick up new concepts really quickly, rather that having to work for a while to understand them before I can use them. 3. Be in a position where I can confidently share my research and influence change for the better.
Tell us a joke.
I periodically tell terrible science jokes.