Thalía Dominguez Bucío - 2022 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics University of Southampton, UK
SPIE Early Career Professional Member
Born in Mexico
I have always been fascinated by the way everything works, from very little things in nature to technology that seems to come from a science-fiction book. However, if I had to think of who inspired me to get into science, I would say it was my parents. My dad nurtured my curiosity, introducing me to the electronic boards that roar like cities bursting alive within our computers! While my mom showed me that with creativity and passion you can achieve whatever goal you set for yourself, in the same way she pursued a successful career as a chemical engineer. With their support and guidance, I was able to complete a degree in electronics that satisfied my curiosity of how things work and a PhD in photonics that allows me to play with light every single day.
Currently, I work as a research fellow in the field of silicon photonics. I am mostly involved in developing new materials and fabrication processes that will enable us to exploit the properties of light using electronic-like chips that have the potential to make our everyday devices more efficient, such as computers and phones. When I am not designing or fabricating new chips in the lab, I enjoy showing people how amazing light is and how they can play with it.
Looking back on my career there have been many challenges that I have had to face, from being the only women in some classes at university to having to move to another country to pursue my dreams. However, I think the biggest one has always been myself. I believe that on many occasions we take for granted our efforts because we think we are just doing the things that are expected of us, rather than realizing we are doing things that are worth being recognized for! This is something I am still working on every day by giving value to all my hard work and recognizing all the successes that have led me to where I am.
At the beginning of my career, I wish someone would have told me to be more confident in myself and my abilities. It is so easy to get lost in all the things that can go wrong and lose motivation. Instead, you should be confident of your potential and focus on the things you learn and all the opportunities that open in front of you to achieve amazing things.
To all the women interested in science, I would like to encourage you to be curious and never stop dreaming because you can realize anything you can dream of. In the end, science has always been made of dreams.