Professor Serena Best FREng is a Professor of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge
“It is great to see senior roles now held by excellent quality women engineers.”
How would you describe your current role to someone who knows nothing about engineering?
I design and develop medical implants with structure and composition similar to natural tissues. I produce the scaffolds and characterise them to understand the effects of their physical, chemical and biological properties in order to optimise cellular response when they are used to replace bone and soft tissue.
Why did you choose to go into engineering?
I have always enjoyed designing and making things and I also enjoyed solving problems. Engineering offered a way to combine all of my interests.
What do you like most about being an engineer?
Engineering truly offers new challenges each day. Most of all, I like to see my ideas eventually being used for the benefit of patients.
Tell us about an achievement which you are most proud of.
I think that I have been very fortunate throughout my career and in particular I have had good mentors who have pushed me to achieve. Many good things have happened (including Fellowships, a Professorship, and association with product spin-out), but these have happened because of the team around me.
How has being a woman in engineering changed since you started working in the engineering sector?
I am very pleased to see that there are more and more women moving into engineering - it is great to see senior roles now held by excellent quality women engineers.
How do you think gender parity in engineering can be achieved?
I think that it will take time. There are plenty of young women starting their career now, but we need to ensure that they are able to remain in the Engineering profession throughout their working life and we need to set in place mechanisms to encourage people to return after career breaks.
What would you say to someone considering a career in engineering?
I would recommend it - without question!