United We Are a Force, and Individually We are W.O.N.
Image Courtesy of Yulia Furletova
Women of Note celebrates the unique talents of women of Hampton Roads and seeks to raise awareness of issues women face in the 21st century. We are well aware of the many hats women wear throughout the day as well as throughout their lives and we would like to give women the opportunity to share their experiences juggling these with our community. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire others, learn from their perspectives, and foster a dialogue that creates solutions. Today we spot light Yulia Furletova.
Affiliation(s) (past and present):
German Electron Synchrotron DESY (Germany), Bonn University (Germany), Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Virginia, US)
How long have you been (working in/participating in) your field? How did you get into it?
Whole my life! I was born in the small town Dubna/Russia. It was built as a town of science and it is home to a world-known Join Institute for Nuclear Research. Even so neither my parents nor I were working on JINR, it made an impact on my life: I decided to apply to study physics at University. After receiving a Master Degree in Engineering and Physics, I joined a group which participated in high energy particles experiments at DESY(Germany). Few years after, I applied for the PhD program in Hamburg University(Germany), which I successfully finished in 2004.
How long have you been working/ living in in Hampton Roads?
We relocated from Germany little more than 6 years ago.
What advice would you give young women going into your field?
Be ready to learn new things during the whole life! It could be programming languages, it could be new hardware or electronic developments, or it could be new methods of data analysis.
Follow the latest publications and developments in your and your connecting science fields.
Does your gender influence your relationship to your work? In what way?
No, it has not influenced my relationship to my work. I like my work and I hope to continue to work in this field!
Have you faced challenges in your field because of your gender or have you found your gender to be an asset? What kinds of challenges or advantages, and how have they affected your life?
Yes, I faced challenges, but they were not particular gender-related, but rather family-related.
Both my husband and I are working in the same field: experimental particle physics. Therefore one of the most difficult challenges for our family was how to find positions in the same place/city (or we call it “two-body“ problem). There are not so many particle physics laboratories in the world, and this makes this problem even more difficult. We are very happy that through our life we were able to work in the front line of our field/experiments, such as ZEUS-DESY Hamburg/Germany; Belle-II/Japan or CERN/Switzerland experiments, while working at Bonn Uni ; or now at Jefferson lab working on GlueX and EIC experiments, but still keep our family together.
Has parenthood impacted your career or shaped your perspective as an artist? In what ways?
I’m a mother of two kids ( 9 and 17) . I got my first baby in the middle of my PhD studies. It was most difficult part of my life: little crying baby, work which needs to be done on time, physics studies which has to be finalized before the defense day, and all that with a sleep with less then 3-4 hours a day… I’m grateful to my husband and our grandmothers for helping me during this challenging period! Also I’m very grateful to my employers, who allowed a flexible work schedule, which allowed me to stay on track with my work, studies, and to give my love and care to my babies and my family.
As my kids grow, I started to help our community to improve STEM activities for young kids.
My kids are actively participating in the FIRST robotic clubs, and I’m coaching a small junior FLL-Jr team.
Any closing thoughts?
We all are facing challenges every day and our ability to solve them move us and the whole human civilization forward! Keep learning, keep creating and stay positive, as a positron!
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