The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
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Doctor Helen Jane Fraser

Nationality: United Kingdom

Year: 1997

Subject Area: Science and Engineering

Website: Visit (opens in a new window)

Dr Helen Fraser was awarded a Wingate Scholarship in 1994/5 to assist with the completion of her PhD thesis "Tunable Far Infrared Spectroscopy of Transient Species" at the University of Cambridge. Her PhD work focused (even 10 + years ago) on how to detect chemical species in the stratosphere giving rise to Ozone depletion and greenhouse effects, and how to compute how much of each gas was present! Since graduating in 1998 she has been working in the field of Astrochemistry where her work focused on laboratory studies of the physical behaviour of ices under interstellar conditions, with postdoctoral work at the University of Nottingham, Berkeley (USA) and Leiden Observatory (Netherlands). In January 2005 she joined the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde, where she is currently a lecturer and is building a research team using laboratory experiments, parabolic (zero-g) flights and observational work to study solid state processes in star and planet formation. In addition she holds an Honorary Lectureship at Glasgow University (Astronomy Group), and visiting professorships at University of Provence (Marseille) and Observatoire de Paris. In addition to her research she is extensively involved in PUS (public understanding of science) activities, appearing on TV and radio, and touring the UK and Europe with a hands-on Astrochemistry exhibit - "Stars 'R' Us". In her spare time, the football of her Wingate days has given way to jogging, swimming, scuba diving and reading!