Girls and young women should be courageous, creative, and passionate about their work.
Dr. Qingye (Gemma) Lu is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on bioadhesion, colloid and interfacial chemistry, polymers, nanomaterials/nanotechnology and their applications in biomedical and industrial processes such as anti-fouling, oil sands process water treatment, tailings settling enhancement, emission controls, soil remediation, etc. She also has strong expertise in microfluidics, fuel cells and electrochemistry. She did both her BSc and MSc in Chemistry at Wuhan University, China and obtained her PhD in Analytical Chemistry at University of Alberta. After her PhD, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta.
As an academic, what is your favourite part of your job? I can work on some research projects which I am interested in to benefit our world and train and uplift young generations with better capabilities and living purpose.
I work on development of bioinspired functional materials in environmental remediation, and understanding of fundamental surface and interfacial interactions by molecular-level force probes. I find the fundamental interaction studies are important for guiding the material design and learning from nature can resolve some problems we faced and advance the sustainability of the world.
Students graduating in my field can become environmental engineers, chemical engineers, environmental consultants, laboratory research and development specialists, governmental and non-profit researchers.
Yes. It is important to make everyone aware of the diversity issues. When hiring, evaluating and promoting female researchers/faculties, it is necessary to overcome bias and prejudice.
Advocating hiring more female faculties.
Institutions should encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in science and engineering by providing financial support like fellowships for female graduate students, PDFs, hosting workshops to help females connect with industry sponsors.
Girls or young women should be courageous, creative, and passionate about their work if they want to pursue their careers in science or engineering.
I have been fortunate to have some female role models during my graduate studies and my career, such as my PhD supervisor, and a couple of female colleagues.