Cynthia Adu tells her story:
How did you find the EngD programme and the viva experience?
The SMM CDT programme is four years of being part of a cohort interested in solving sustainability challenged through a technical lens. This experience has shaped my understanding on how to approach sustainability from a systems perspective and the fundamental part materials have to play. My viva was the first one the CDT held via video conferencing, there is no doubt that we were all nervous on how this would play out. I am delighted to say that this did not take away the novelty of the viva experience nor the butterflies in my stomach. It was indeed an opportunity to share my research and indulge in meaningful conversations with the experts in my field. I thoroughly enjoyed giving the lecture on my research as this helped to boost my confidence before the viva. I felt my examiners understood what my research was trying to address and they diligently questioned my thought process and the innovation behind my research.
What are you doing now and how has the EngD played a part in your career?
Since completing the EngD I have been working as a sustainability consultant for Avieco, I help our clients on projects related to life cycle assessment, circular economy and packaging. My background in sustainable materials and manufacturing equips me with the technical insights on how materials choices impact the environment. I use this perspective to help businesses to reduce their environmental impact and set targets to achieve them. I think every week at my new job is different because our clients are diverse, their challenges are unique, they need answers to their sustainability questions and they need it promptly. This is great because not only do I feel part of the solution, I am also being challenged to ensure that the solutions I provide are effective and impactful.