10 Questions with Winifred Atiah
Winifred Atiah, 25, from Ghana is a Ph.D. student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana.
Her research is about the diagnosis of the Precipitation Processes over the South Western Africa (SWA) specifically, Ghana.
Winifred is a participant of the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting which is dedicated to the field of physics in 2016.
Enjoy the interview with Winifred and get inspired:
- What inspired you to pursue a career in physics / STEM?
Life has always been to me an opportunity God gives us to learn and make ourselves better. I would say, the challenge and the experience that comes along studying Physics and Mathematics has always been my source of inspiration.
- Who are your role models?
I have many role models though Prof. Barbara Brookes, a professor at the University of Leeds has inspired me a lot.
- How did you get to where you are in your career path?
My background is specifically on Atmospheric Physics and my supervisor, Dr. Leonard K. Amekudzi is one of the most important mentors to me as far as my career is concerned. Getting to where I am today has not been an easy ordeal albeit, God has always been my help and fortress. Nonetheless, my supervisor (Dr. Leonard K. Amekudzi ) has been more than a mentor and a friend encouraging me through my bachelors studies, masters and presently in my PhD research studies.
I have been through difficult times, I remember during my bachelors it was not easy financially for me to go through my education but my parents did not give up on me they were so striving and supportive. I equally did not give up on myself as I worked really hard to make them proud with a first class honors.
- What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I feel that my current project (DACCIWA project) is the coolest I find so far. This is because through this project, I get to appreciate my research on precipitation precesses better. Why am I saying this, this is because as part of the DACCIWA project, rain gauges have been installed for me over the study area to take rainfall measurements. I get to take charge of my work and work as happily as possible as I just do not only make use of data collected for me but take part in the data collection process. Also the current DACCIWA field campaign has afforded to me so much experience with the setting up of a weather station, calibration of various instruments and having to use certain tools and equipment, like the ceilometer, sun photometer, sodar, radiometer , Micro Rain Radar and many others for measurements. Yeah I really feel excited being part of the DACCIWA project, WP (Work Package) 6.
- What’s a time you felt immense pride in yourself / your work?
The time I felt proud of myself was when I finished my masters research and my supervisor said “Excellent work done Winifred”. I felt so good and happy because it was not easy but I overcame.
- What is a “day in the life” of Winifred Atiah like?
A day in my life is full of life. I spend most of the time of the day doing what I love, worshiping my Creator and doing my research cos I love research.
- What are you seeking to accomplish in your career?
I seek to be the best in my field. I seek to be great such that, any questions or advice needed in my area would always be directed to me because of the command I would have in my area of specialization.
- What do you like to do when you’re not doing research?
When I am not doing research, I love to sing and dance salsa.
- What advice do you have for other women interested in physics / STEM?
Snap out of your shelves , there is much you have in you that you have not given out. Take everyday as a new beginning when you fall do not remain there because for all you know you may just need two steps ahead and you are there.
- In your opinion, what will be the next great breakthrough in physics research?
In my candid opinion, increasing the number of women Laureates in the field of Physics would be a great breakthrough.
What should be done to increase the number of female profs of physics?
I personally believe that increasing the number of women scholarships for the study of science right fro the basic level to higher levels would be a great step since, especially most young women from Africa are made to drop out of school due to financial situations. Also educating young women on the merits of learning science right from the early stages of their lives would be really helpful.