Fiona Dickinson

just answered some more questions



Newcastle University


MPhys, PhD

Work History:

Newcastle University, Nottingham Trent University, Aberdeen University, Reading University and now I’m at Bath University (I’ve basically never left school!)


University of Bath

Current Job:

Teaching Fellow in Chemistry

Me and my work

I’m a teaching fellow in a university, I specialise in ways to make light and uses of it

My Typical Day

Get to work, email, teach, chat to students, teach, email, make new materials to teach with, home, email, make new materials to teach with

My Interview

What's your favourite food?


What invention amazes you the most?

the silicon chip – they’re everywhere, or lego, lego is so cool

What is the most fun thing you've done?

blowing bubbles, I love bubbles :)

What did you want to be after you left school?

I always wanted to be a scientist, at school I wanted to do astrophysics though

If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?

I can’t imagine not doing science and engineering, its fundamental to who I am

What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?

I think the teaching bit, I love tinkering on my own, but it is great to inspire the next generation

What or who inspired you to become an engineer?

Not a who, a what, I loved taking things apart to see how they worked, then see if I could put them back together in different ways, my parents were very understanding when I inevitably had a ‘spare’ screw

Who is your favourite singer or band?

This depends on my mood and the time of day, eclectic but I tend towards rock

If I could change one thing about the world...

I’d replace all guns with bubbles

My favourite CHRISTMAS LECTURE memory is:

I remember watching Tony Ryan back in the 2002? thinking ‘yes, I’ve absolutely chosen a career perfect for me, this stuff is awesome’

If you could do anything, how would you hack your home?

I’d put a sensor on the front door so I could check I’d shut & locked it

Give us a hack we can do at home!

I’m always hacking IKEA furniture, I put fans in the unit where my games consoles are to keep them running cool

Other stuff

Work photos:


my desk, I was working on a workshop quiz for the last class of term (some lego)



my lego scientists and engineers, I love the chalk board and



a tiny lego robot



the same molecule but dissolved in different solvents (water, methanol, ethanol, propanol & butanol) the different colour in different solutions is an effect called solvatochromism, this was a demo I used for teaching



the same molecule giving the colour but the fluorescence in the sample on the left is less due to the presence of sodium chloride (another class demo)



again the same molecule, but the one on the right is brighter because the molecule has detected DNA in that sample (again a class demo)



all of these solutions are the same concentration (have the same number of molecules in a litre) but the strength of colour is very different (I like class demos :))