• Individual Members
  • Early Career Members
  • Student Members
  • Corporate Members
  • SPIE Professional Magazine
  • Visiting Lecturers
  • Women In Optics
  • Women in Optics Events
    Women in Optics Planner
    2018 WiO Planner
    2017 WiO Planner
    2016 WiO Planner
    2015 WiO Planner
    2014 WiO Planner
    2013 WiO Planner
    2012 WiO Planner
    2011 WiO Planner
    2010 WiO Planner
    2009 WiO Planner
    2008 WiO Planner
    2007 WiO Planner
    2006 WiO Planner
    2005 WiO Planner
    Women in Optics Videos
    Women in Optics Survey
    Women in Optics Funding
  • BACUS Technical Group
 
Print PageEmail Page

Angela Dudley

Senior Researcher
Council for Scientific & Industrial Research, National Laser Centre (CSIR-NLC), South Africa

Angela Dudley

Country of Birth: South Africa
Country of Residence: South Africa
Educational Background: PhD in Physics

 

Apart from enjoying and having an aptitude for math and science at school, I decided to pursue a career in physics because there are very few female scientists in South Africa. Having a degree in physics opens the door to a variety of careers across a variety of sectors. And since only a few women pursue these careers it means more opportunities for those who do.

My responsibilities involve implementing structured light to increase the bandwidth of optical communications systems. I design and construct optical experiments as well as develop code to automate measurement processes and analyze data. I also assist on the business process and program development of our prototyping facility which develops photonics prototypes well-aligned to market needs.

At the start of my career I thought scientists were introverts who lived in their labs doing complex calculations and experiments. But I have learned that there are other important elements to a great scientist: effectively communicating your research to a variety of audiences, and mentoring and supervising students. If you feel you lack these traits, take some courses to develop these skills. Surround yourself with people who complement your skill set.

If you decide to follow a career in academics, choose an ambitious mentor. He/ she will challenge you to push your bounds, plus show you the other aspects of science that you might not be so familiar with like proposal writing, popularizing your research, and building and mentoring your own research team. Always capitalize on opportunities as you don’t know where it may lead or what doors it may open.

And remember, as a scientist our work often tends to consume us and involves a lot of time spent away from home traveling. Over the years, I've tried to get better at 'shutting-off' from work when I'm at home spending time with my family. Having an understanding partner who shares similar interests and beliefs definitely helps.

View more 2018 profiles