Engineering Science Graduate receives international Schlumberger Fellowship Award

Sheeja Jagadevan, a second year DPhil student at the Department of Engineering Science (based at Begbroke Science Park), was recently awarded the Schlumberger sponsored Faculty for the Future Fellowship 2010. The award of approximately £30,000 will support Sheeja's tuition fees and living expenses.

Sheeja JagadevanFaculty for the Future Fellowships are awarded to women from developing and emerging economies who are preparing for DPhil or post-doctoral study in the physical sciences, engineering, or related disciplines, to pursue advanced graduate study at top universities in their disciplines abroad.

Before coming to Oxford in 2008, Sheeja was a Lecturer in India. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and her research project at Begbroke Science Park focuses on 'Hybrid technologies for remediation of high strength metal working fluid wastewater'.

Sheeja's supervisor, Professor Ian Thompson, said: “It is great news that such a prestigious Fellowship, promoting women in science and engineering, has been awarded to a student in Engineering, particularly since it is the first for an Oxford University student. Its very well deserved and I’m sure will inspire more women in India to pursue the same career path”.

When Sheeja finishes her DPhil in 2011 she intends to work in academia as a researcher. She said: “In India there is a glass ceiling for women at the professor level. Less than 10% of professors in institutes/universities of academic excellence are women - I want to motivate others. This award ensures that I'm part of an international network; sharing our research and experiences within the forum would provide means to influence issues relating to women in science back home”.

She added “Environmental engineering is a blend of various disciplines, incorporating elements from biotechnology, microbiology, chemistry, chemical engineering and civil engineering. My motivation and focus is the treatment of complex industrial wastewaters, using the aforementioned tools to arrive at a sustainable solution. Longer term I hope to be working in India as a Professor of Environmental Biotechnology”.

Launched by the Schlumberger Foundation in 2004, Faculty for the Future has grown to become a community of over 140 women from 47 countries.

The long-term goal of the Faculty for the Future programme is to generate conditions that result in more women pursuing scientific disciplines. Grant recipients are therefore selected as much for their leadership capabilities as for their scientific talents.

Acknowledgement: Schlumberger Limited