Meet NML Scientist, Heidi Goenaga-Infante ahead of International Women's Day 2020
Heidi's team works in the areas of trace (low level) element and speciation analysis, metallomics research, the characterisation of nanomaterials, high accuracy isotope ratio analysis, quantitative elemental bio-imaging and the characterisation of 'speciated' reference materials and standards.
With over 20 years of experience in elemental and speciation analysis, Heidi has had a very successful science journey here at the UK’s National Measurement Laboratory (NML) for chemical and bio-measurement, hosted at LGC, since she joined in 2003.
What made you want to be a scientist?
My high school chemistry teacher was very inspirational; he made me fall in love with chemistry and that was what drove my decision to become a scientist. My chemistry teachers and PhD and Post-doctoral supervisors were all fantastic as they taught me to stay curious, be honest and work hard.
What's your biggest motivation to keep working as a scientist?
For me, it's the opportunity to make an internationally recognised contribution to research which is improving the quality of life.
LGC is one of the top scientific institutions in the world and the UK NML is one of the top three measurement institutes for chemical and bio-measurement. Our world-leading measurement science research helps solve measurement challenges across areas such as healthcare and food safety. Our work is recognised at an international level and this gives me the motivation to achieve the best and keep seeking new opportunities to thrive.
How has your career taken you where you are today?
It has been about having defined goals and then working hard, getting to know the right people and finding the right colleagues to help achieve them. It is also important to have role models and to be inspired and motivated by what they do. I am really grateful that I work at LGC.
Why is that?
LGC offers a really dynamic environment and allows for the development and dissemination of sound science. There are lots of different opportunities, allowing you to familiarise yourself with many different disciplines and with interesting individuals across the globe. I feel most grateful to have a fantastic team which is the key ingredient to success. The NML sits between academia and industry, developing fundamental measurement research but also applying measurement science to real world problems.
What would be the best piece of advice you could give new members of the team?
Be curious, passionate and honest about your experiences and skills, and be a team player. I look for people who enjoy the lab experience and are excited about learning new things.