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Fatumina Abukar

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Shortlisted for the WISE Rising Star Award

27 October 2016

Fatumina Abukar, PhD student, University College London, Aged 28

Fatumina’s passion for science developed when her mother became terminally ill, driving her desire to have a career for herself where she could make a difference. Her pursuit of such a career has not been easy. At 16 she moved to the UK speaking little English and became responsible for her younger siblings, which meant taking time out from education to work full time to support them. Later, she worked part time, whilst attending morning and evening courses to obtain her GCSEs. The prospect of studying A-level science was challenging due to her limited English, however, she passed and began her engineering degree. Following this Fatumina decided to pursue a PhD to test the functionality of stem cells for heart repair. She has obtained high quality data, which was published in the Journal of Integrative Biology. Throughout her PhD, she has been involved in several public engagement activities, such as 3MT competition at UCL where she won the People’s Choice Award. Fatumina’s passion for life and learning has pushed her to integrate different aspects of her personality between her engineering degree and a successful henna business with 20k Instagram followers. However unconventional, she has used the power of social media to reach out to a wider audience and is a role model for other women who believe that engineering and being creative are mutually exclusive.

Fatumina's People Like Me types: Explorer, Investigator and Supporter

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