Professor of Materials Science, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
Professor Rachel Oliver is Director of the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride. The focus of her research is understanding how the small scale structure of nitride materials affects the performance and properties of devices. She uses expertise in microscopy and materials growth to develop new nanoscale nitride structures which will provide new functionality to the devices of the future. The devices which interest her include light emitting diodes for energy efficient lighting, and power electronics for low loss power conversion and transmission. By engineering the nanoscale structure of the relevant materials, she aims to make devices which not only waste less energy but are also cheaper and have improved function, to hasten consumer uptake of energy efficient technologies.
Rachel is also Equality and Diversity Champion for the School of Physical Sciences at Cambridge, and leader of The Inclusion Group for Equity in Research in STEMM (TIGERS), a national campaign group focused on improving diversity and inclusivity in the scientific research community. She led a successful campaign for an inquiry by the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology into the impact of funding policy on equality and diversity in science and related fields. She has has also driven policy changes at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining concerning prevention of harassment in engineering. Her campaigning work is underpinned by her belief that positive societal impact from scientific research is most effectively achieved when the research community embodies genuine diversity.