Eya Nwanneka

See Yourself in STEM - Eya Nwanneka

Tell us a little bit about you:

I am Eya Nwanneka Gethrude, fondly called “Eya”. I am a final year PhD student in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Strathclyde. I’m a highly analytical business system analyst with previous experience as the ERP Project Officer at Orleans Invest Africa. I worked previously in application development and implementation. Colleagues consider me approachable and easy to work with. I add a human face to every decision I make at work because am passionate about poverty eradication and women’s empowerment. I extend a helping hand whenever I can, because I know that together we can all make the world a better place. I enjoy singing and learning new cooking skills. I would consider myself an amateur food photographer. To inspire others is something that I love.

What is your area of research and what project(s) are you working on now?

The set of policies, procedures, technologies, and controls that functions jointly to safeguard cloud-based systems, infrastructures and data are known as Cloud Computing Security Model. Our research reviewed the various identified Cloud Computing Security Model with a close look at the model that addresses data security challenges of a cloud-based ERP systems. Our research is proposing an End user Authentication Control Model for Cloud-based ERP systems. This is a cloud computing security model that uses Enterprise Access Directory, Enterprise Data Fragmentation in cloud and End-user Access Quires, to ensure that End users share a greater security responsibility. The proposed model when compared with other exiting models will encourage more end-user participation in their enterprise data security in cloud. The proposed model also mitigates the impact a malicious insider will have on the enterprise cloud data set in cloud, since no single user can get access to the whole enterprise database in cloud at the same time. The proposed model considered end-user role and responsibility within the enterprise to determine the level of access and the set of data to access in the cloud. Our current research activities are attempting to validate the concepts of the proposed model.

When was your interest in STEM/your field first sparked and why?

Ever since my childhood, computers have been a crucial aspect of my life. I have relished every opportunity that I have had to either study computing at school or to learn more about IT through a hands-on approach of experimenting with computers myself. The STEM world is an endlessly complex one that is continually changing, with each advance bringing countless new possibilities to benefit mankind and the societies that we live in. I have always believed that education is the most satisfying pursuit, a value instilled by my father.

Who or what inspired you to stick with STEM when you were younger?

My father played a huge role in shaping my interest in STEM. He always referred to me as a scientist and this made me want to study sciences in my secondary school.

What challenges do you think STEM disciplines face with regards to issues of diversity and inclusion and what should a supportive, inclusive STEM community look like?

I believe diversity is critical to excellence and the lack of it may represent a loss of talent especially in STEM where teamwork is encouraged. Diversity leads to better problem-solving, expands the talent pool and is important for long-term economic growth. An inclusive STEM community should have all hands-on deck irrespective of their different identities and backgrounds. Individuals with different experience should be able to come together to bring their uniqueness to any STEM project.

In your career, what are the moments that have made you proudest so far?

The moment my first conference paper was accepted for publication. I felt proud of all the efforts myself and the team put in the work.

Since STEM career paths are rarely easy to navigate, what challenges have you faced along the way?

There are many challenges to every endeavour in life, but I find with STEM, you must be more resilient and patient, because it may take several wrong steps to lead to that single correct step. STEM requires the ability to focus on something with the required attention to details to understand and be creative about the subject matter. Some may argue that STEM research projects are time consuming, but this is understandable because it takes time to validate an innovation.

Where do you find support to sustain you in your current career?

I find a valued support system from my supervisor, my family, my colleagues, other PhD students and online through different bodies focusing on assisting STEM career.

What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in STEM?

Know your career goals and find a discipline that fits you. Don’t study IT because it is popular - balance what you’re good at, what you’re interested in and what there is demand for. If your interest is a niche area, earn a certification that opens doors in that area. A STEM career is for you if you are passionate enough to pursue it.

Fun question: Tell us two truths and a lie about you.

a) I am a passionate Interior Decorator; I have an eye for selecting matching patterns and colours. b) I love to take photo of every meal I cook. c) I love travelling.