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May 2012: Aileen Lothian
PhD 1996 and PGCE 1997 Chemistry
What I am doing now:
I am the Director of the Young Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Ambassadors based at the University of Edinburgh.
How did you get to where you are now?
By working hard and helping as many people as possible along the way.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I feel that my biggest achievement so far is still achieving my PhD at Keele University.
And your biggest mistake?
I once worked at a company in Edinburgh named McFarlan Smith and I really enjoyed my job. I was headhunted and persuaded to take up a new position at another company which turned out to be the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life.
What are your ambitions now?
To keep on helping as many young people as I can.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?
Enjoy your work and always have a positive attitude towards your work.
What made you choose Keele University?
Keele University was recommended to me when I lived in England. When I went to visit the University for the first time, I just knew that I would be happy there.
What kind of a student were you?
I was a very committed student and I totally enjoyed my work. I remember when the black-and-white photo was taken of us in the lab by the local neswspaper.
How has Keele influenced your life?
Keele has greatly influenced my life as I recall working there with very happy memories.
What is your favourite memory of Keele?
One of my favourite memories is working in the glove box in the Shelton Laboratory on some chemistry experiments. I received permission for my young son at the time to visit my laboratory after hours and he had to wear safety spectacles, rubber gloves and a laboratory coat which was almost double the size of him. We both have very happy memories of that particular day, as it was really exciting and enjoyable. The photo of my son is from that day.
What is your impression of Keele now?
I have never returned, therefore, my impression is one of slight change. I am planning to visit the University at some point in the near future. I am not sure what to expect, but I am really looking forward to visiting Keele University again.
The photo below is the day when I was presented with the Alumni of the Year Award by Napier University in Edinburgh - with me is Professor Dame Joan Stringer, Vice-Chancellor of the University and a fellow Keelite - she graduated from Keele in 1978!