Aziza al Mughairy, a Physics and Astronomy undergraduate at the Cardiff University, is currently completing an industrial placement in Development of Online Scientific Training for Neutron and Muon Experiments at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. Hailing from Oman and just 19 years old, she is the first GCC national to be employed by UKRI and her role here is a milestone for gulf Arab representation in science.
Encouraged to work on mathematical problems at a young age by her mother and grandmother, she hopes to offer the same inspiration to future gulf Arab scientists. After being amazed at the work ISIS does after a visit here in her first year of university, it was one of Aziza’s lecturers at university who spotted her enthusiasm for the subject and suggested this role. It combines her interests in both science and education- “I love teaching and finding the best ways to help people learn” Aziza enthused.
Over the next year, she hopes to build on her existing knowledge and teaching experience through the development of e-learning materials for researchers who require understanding of the physics required for subatomic particle experiments. “I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute to leading research” she explains, “It is more engaging than submitting coursework and sitting exams!”
Gulf Arabs have been underrepresented in scientific disciplines, but young scientists like Aziza could be key to future development of research facilities in the Gulf. Aziza hopes to complete her doctorate in Physics in the coming years, and in the long term, provide a valuable contribution to the improvement of scientific education and research in Oman by helping to break barriers for gulf Arab women.