I'm interested in fabrication and characterisation of hollow core microstructured fibres. These are novel fibres which can guide light in an air core surrounded by a periodic array of holes defined by a web of ultra-thin silica membranes. Guidance in air opens up a huge range of applications: high power delivery, gas sensing, quantum optics and also the opportunity for low loss transmission in the mid-infrared; a region of increasing interest for many fields.
I combine research and family by being extremely busy! It works with the support of my husband and from my work colleagues (particularly during morning sickness and upon return to work after maternity leave) and by taking advantage of the flexibility that job in research can provide. Yes, it requires a lot of work, but it isn't a nine-to-five role. If I need to be at home with my children I can normally rearrange my day and pick up on some work in the evening.