Esther Haines

Name Esther Haines

AWIS Role Secretary

Academic Background BSc (Hons) Physics, PhD Physics

Area Of Science Physics, STEM

My Story

After a B.Sc. (Hons) in physics and a Ph.D. in solid state physics at Victoria University of Wellington, I held post-doctoral positions at the University of Cambridge and Victoria University of Wellington. In 1985 a started work as a research scientist at what was then the Physics and Engineering Laboratory of the DSIR and is now Industrial Research Limited. My son was born in 1986 and I worked part-time after returning from maternity leave until my husband was offered a position in the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Cambridge. I continued my research on high temperature superconductors (oxides that lose their resistance to electric current flow at liquid nitrogen temperatures) and colossal magnetoresistance (the extreme sensitivity of electrical resistance to magnetic field observed in some materials) initially as a visitor and then on a Daphne Jackson Fellowship for returners to a scientific career, which I held in the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge doing simulations related to understanding the forces between molecules. After my fellowship finished I combined working half time for the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative (WISETI) at the University of Cambridge. Eventually I stopped doing research and combined working half time for WISETI with working half time for the Institute of Physics (the professional body for physicists in the UK) as their Regional Officer in the East of England. In 2009 we moved to Dunedin and I now work in the Physics Department as the Outreach Coordinator. I am also responsible for the day to day running of Jumpstart Physics, a three week summer course for students who want to do Health Sciences First Year, which includes a physics paper, but do not have a background in physics.