Meet Victoria
09 Feb 2023



For International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023 (IDWGS2023), we asked Gemini Systems Analyst/Computer Programmer Victoria Marshall to tell us about her job and why she loves working in STEM.

Victoria wearing a lab coat and laser goggles while adjusting optics in a Gemini lab.

​​Victoria wearing a lab coat and laser goggles while adjusting optics in a Gemini lab.​


Victoria wearing a lab coat and laser goggles adjusting electronics in a Gemini lab.​"As you can probably guess, this photo is of me in the Gemini laser facility​.  The laser goggles are a vital safety precaution but a real nuisance to wear as they tend to steam up and you can't see anything. The lab coat helps keep the dust down in the laser areas but it's not the most flattering of things to wear, and don't get me started on the overshoes which can easily trip you up if you're not careful.  

Why would I put up with being dressed like this?  And more importantly why would I choose to tell anyone about it?

Because I'm a Systems Analyst/Computer Programmer who works in a department filled with physicists and laser scientists.

Part of my job is to maintain the laser Control System so sometimes I need to go into a laser area to fix a PC or check that an instrument is behaving as expected.  It may sound silly but I always get a real sense of excitement when I do this because there's a huge sense of responsibility in helping look after several millions pound's worth of kit which can momentarily create conditions similar to those on the surface of the Sun. 

When I was doing all those computing exams I never dreamed that one day I would be helping to create the Sun, even if it is just for 4e-14 seconds (about a hundred trillionth of a second)."

Contact: Snelgrove, Kaylyn (STFC,RAL,CLF)