Shakardokht Jafari - 2018 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
CTO and Founder, TrueInvivo Ltd
Trainee Clinical Scientist, Portsmouth Hospital
Visiting Researcher, University of Surrey, UK
Country of Birth: Afghanistan
My curious nature, my parents, and my life story inspired my career in science. I am reminded of the saying, ‘necessity is the mother of invention,’ for when we were living in Iran as refugees without any support, innovation was a daily necessity and way of living. Innovation was how we took care of our normal daily needs because we didn’t have access or money to buy things we needed or wanted. My father created gardening tools for himself, and my mother taught me to make my own toys, tailor my own clothes, and make my own bedding; it’s something I’ve grown up with.
As a girl being born in a distant village of Afghanistan, my biggest challenge was to convince my family and society of my right to an education. My teachers helped me a lot overcoming this problem.
Now I work full time as trainee clinical scientist at the QA hospital in Portsmouth and my main responsibility is research and development of new radiation treatment techniques for cancer patients and quality control of equipment and treatment plan of patients. I also continue to work with the University of Surrey where I got my PhD, as a visiting researcher and to supervise research students at the Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics. I founded TrueInvivo company to commercialize my PhD research outcome. With my CTO hat at the TrueInvivo, I am in charge of the technical development and research of our high tech radiation detection systems.
Due to multi-tasking nature of women, they can bring wonderful solutions to our current scientific/engineering problems. I would tell young women considering this path that the scientific world needs your smart thoughts! If you want a rewarding, fulfilling career, STEM is what you are looking for!