Richard Aguiar Maduro

See Yourself in STEM - Richard Aguiar Maduro

Tell us a little bit about you:

I am a 4th year undergraduate student at the university of Strathclyde. I enjoy learning about new emerging technologies and historic fiction books. I also like to learn new languages and I enjoy fashion and working out.

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

My research field is Atomic Physics, and this year I have been working on the study of new generation Magneto Optical Traps. MOTs allows us to trap atom clouds and cool them down to extremely low temperatures.

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

I believe my interest in science started with astronomy documentaries on TV. I would always be fascinated by galaxies, planets, and cosmology in general. Scientist were almost like celebrities to my younger self, and that really motivated me to continue learning about physics.

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

The vast amount of online science communicators on websites like YouTube kept me engaged in science.

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?

It can be hard to feel included in the community when you are part of an underrepresented minority. These may lead some individuals to lose motivation, or to think that their goals are unachievable. It is our duty as a community to break these barriers and to create a supportive environment and additional resources for underrepresented groups.

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

Being able to do research with the SCAPA team at the University of Strathclyde made me extremely proud. It was an achievement because I had the opportunity to learn so much about plasma physics and the research that is carried out.

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

As an immigrant at a young age, I faced some challenges when moving to a different education system. It required a lot of extra work, and to be able to adapt quicky to sudden changes.

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

I am quite lucky to have an incredibly supportive family. They have always been there to lend a hand and motivate me to reach my potential.

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

It is an incredible field to be part of. STEM subjects encompass some of the most interesting discoveries in recent years. You get to learn about how so many things we use every day work, and how to become part of a greater scientific research community.

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

a) I grew up in a farm. b) I love drinking tea. c) I am from South America.