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Jennifer Wen

It is absolutely fun to study engineering. Engineering is not just about heavy machinery, workshop and laboratories. I am not a hands-on person (my work is computational - running simulations on computers), but I am enjoying every aspect of my work.

Young women should no longer be concerned about entering the engineering profession. The working environment doesn’t discriminate against females and the fact that many girls outperform boys in A level examinations, is evidence that female engineers can be very successful. Our ability to be able to handle multiple tasks at the same time gives us the competitive edge to excel in this field even more than man. This is a field women can be successful and yet find it enjoyable.

I went to school in China where I studied maths, physics, chemistry and English, attaining grades equivalent to A* at A level. My undergraduate degree was in Power Machinery Engineering at Shanghai Jiaotong University in China. I also hold a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Queen Mary College London.

I currently work at the School of Engineering, University of Warwick, where I am a Professor and Head of Warwick FIRE.

I’m really proud of my achievement to establish and lead Warwick FIRE. This is a multidisciplinary research laboratory for both fundamental and applied research into fire and explosion hazards, as well as accidental release of hazardous materials. My career aspirations are to addressing cross-cutting safety issues related to many aspects of energy and the environment, through world leading research.

My typical day involves travelling to different committee meetings, conferences, and workshops for about one third of my time. When on campus, my typical day involves teaching, meeting students, writing research proposals and papers; and of course talking to colleagues!

Fact file

Where did you grow up? China
Where do you now live? Coventry, UK
Who inspired you to consider engineering as a career? Marie Skłodowska-Curie
Who is the most inspiring in your field? Dr Dergey Dorofeev
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself! My childhood dream was to be a writer or a mathematician. But after watching a movie about a female engineer designing submarines for the navy, I decided to study Power Machinery Engineering in Shanghai Jiaotong University, China. I love my current job but I still dream about being a writer.
What interests do you have outside of work? Jogging, hiking and climbing.