University of Southampton — Inspiring PhD Student named in Top 50 Women in Engineering List for 2022

A PhD student from the University of Southampton has been named as one of the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50) 2022: Inventors and Innovators.

Sarah Lu has been recognised for her research in Analytical Radiochemistry and Ocean technology, and for her outreach work in local schools and mentoring young female students.

Sarah said: It still doesn’t feel quite real. It’s not sunk in.”

To mark International Women in Engineering Day, we spoke to Sarah about her work and her achievement at being selected in this year’s list.

Developing new technologies to make nuclear power a sustainable energy solution

Sarah is developing a novel lab-on-chip sensor to detect difficult to measure radionuclides.

The technology looks at how to improve environmental monitoring and process control in nuclear facilities, and the marine environment.”

I’ve been developing a prototype to detect radionuclides that emit beta radiation.”

Sarah is based at the National Oceanography Centre and is in her final year of her PhD funded by Rolls-Royce. Sarah’s PhD is also part of the Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science (NEXUSS) Centre for Doctoral Training.

Dispelling the myth

Sarah Lu
Sarah Lu has been selected in the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering List

Alongside her studies, Sarah is an advocate for encouraging girls and young women to succeed in engineering and applied sciences.

One of the big things I’ve always noticed is that when I go to conferences, I wish I could see a greater presence of diverse women and role models.”

Discouraged by teachers and doctors from pursuing any career due to extensive hospitalisations for a severe respiratory condition has driven my resolve to nurture future talents in STEM.”

Sarah has been mentoring sixth form students through the Arkwright Engineering Scholarships and the Social Mobility Foundation.

Sarah added: It would be nice to see in five years’ time someone I mentored go into the same industry.” Read more