Dr Emily Finch shoots x-rays at stuff. Emily is a Beamline Scientist at the Australian Synchrotron and is part of a team building new machinery that will shoot a beam of x-rays at all kinds of things to learn about their structure and chemistry. Once this beamline is built, Emily will work with scientists from around the world to solve scientific problems like toxins in soil and how drugs are absorbed by the body.
Emily is also a geologist, and researches ways to target critical minerals needed for technologies such as solar panels and electric cars, by studying how elements move around Earth’s crust. This work is becoming increasingly important as the known supply of minerals needed to make green technologies is shrinking and current methods of exploration cannot keep up with increasing demand. By understanding how elements move around the crust, researchers like Emily can better predict where to explore for them.
After completing her PhD in geoscience, Emily worked in science policy. In her policy roles, Emily was proud to work on the Women in STEM Decadal Plan: a project to attract more women into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM careers), and to support women in STEM workplaces.