• Explore Membership
  • Student Services
  • Early Career Resources
  • Corporate Membership
  • SPIE Professional Magazine
 
Print PageEmail Page

Tricia Rankin

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Country of Birth: United Kingdom

Educational Background: PhD Physics; BSc (1st class Honors) Physics, Imperial College London University, UK

Tricia RankinI was hooked from my first physics experiment. The fact that I could take an oil drop and use its volume and the surface area the drop spread out over to figure out the size of a molecule fascinated me. Science teaches you how to get answers that may not be written down anywhere.

My job is a mix of work on new initiatives and managing day-to-day needs to help the faculty at CU Boulder with their research and creative works. Currently I am working on a new initiative to develop an industry office on campus that will help connect scientists and engineers with users of their work. Another focus right now is developing awareness of the need to preserve data and make it accessible to anyone who wants to use it.

On a daily basis, I look for new funding opportunities for faculty members and advise them on proposal development. I have a long-standing interest in the professional development of faculty members, especially women. I work with our postdoctoral association on workshops that help them learn how to manage research groups or explore careers outside of academia.

Studying physics teaches you how to think about problems and solve them. While what I do on a daily basis may not be described as physics, I use physics every day.

STEM is a great career - I highly recommend it. As a physicist I have had a lot of opportunities to travel and to make a difference, but I also have been able to satisfy some of my curiosity about how the world works. Remember that you are an individual and whatever people say about the group (girls are not good at math, women cannot succeed in engineering) does not necessarily apply to you.