Industrial collaborations and problem solving

MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement students Anna Purdue, Hanyue Sun and Jiazhuo Lin visited us recently and interviewed School of Physics and Astronomy Dr Susana Direito about her research and industrial collaborations.

Tell us about your research

I have been working with Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP) for three years, and have also been a researcher for the National Biofilms Innovation Center (NBIC) for two years. I am a bit different from the other researchers because my main focus is based on industrial projects. Companies will come to us with a problem and we will try to solve it, so it works a bit like a consultancy.

I am especially interested in the health aspect of it. The threat of infection in hospitals is a serious problem and is something I like to address. We have worked with some companies to address biofilm formation in medical devices, for example.

What is your favourite part about your work?

The work is very influential, and each project is usually quite short. You can see when the work has been successful because the companies will implement your solution, and I really like it in that sense because it is satisfying to see you have solved a problem. The work itself is challenging but I think it is also very rewarding.

What inspired you to get involved in science?

As a child, I was very curious and always doing small experiments. I was really interested in a lot of subjects, but as I got older I found that science was what really interested me because it involved trying to figure out how things worked.

My undergraduate degree was in applied chemistry, then I got my masters in biotechnology. I came to Edinburgh after my PhD to research astrobiology.

What else are you passionate about in your spare time?

I like to paint, and I like to do other things related to arts and crafts. I am also passionate about the environment and environmental concerns, because it’s such a relevant topic these days.

Learn more and Susana’s work:

Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership

National Biofilm Innovation Centre


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