Natalie Lamb

PhD in Civil Engineering with Anglian Water and Sheffield University
Chair of the East Anglia Royal Society of Biology

I am currently completing a three year PhD investigating the chemicals used to produce drinking water and loving every minute of it, the challenges, the impact of my work and just learning so much. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be completing an engineering PhD, there is no way I would have believed you. My physics teacher at college was the first person to suggest I visit dyslexia services. My workings out was all correct but the number I would write down was completely made up. I found that my As results in Biology, English Language and Psychology were excellent but my Physics and Chemistry were not excellent at all. I just could not understand why I kept making mistakes. It was so frustrating. I thought dyslexia was only about spelling and words and that I was just not trying hard enough in my maths. I am so glad I visited the dyslexia services department and got diagnosed. They provided me with help at uni, still today, even, but most of all, they helped me understand myself and why I was having these difficulties.
Today, my favourite thing about working in STEMM is that my work is actually making a difference to the world around us. My previous work has explored Cryptosporidium in vulnerable catchments in the UK and Giardia in river systems of the UK. It is all very hands on and related to the real world. I am out there in the field, working with the water, then analysing what is going on and why. In future, I am hoping to continue work as a microbiologist in the water industry, keeping drinking water safe from contamination.