Marie Curie- The True Wonder Woman of Engineering

Throughout my life I have always heard the name Marie Curie, as I’m sure we all have. The name as I view it is always linked with the subject of Cancer but in my ignorance I didn’t know why the name and the disease where linked together. I want to use this space to tell you more about the story of this wonderful lady and how much of a role model she is for young girls who are thinking about having a career in engineering.

Firstly I would like to bullet point a few background facts about Marie Curie

  • Born Maria Sklodowska on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland
  •  She moved to France in 1891 to live with her sister
  • Once she was in Paris she immediately entered Sorbonne University where she read physics and mathematics
  • In 1895 she married her partner Pierre Curie, and also changed her first name to the French spelling Marie.

It was from this time that Marie and her husband began their work and research on radioactivity. Marie was also one to strive for knowledge; she always wanted to know more. In July 1898, the Curies announced the discovery of a new chemical element, polonium. At the end of the year, they announced the discovery of another, radium. The Curies, along with Becquerel, were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903. The amount of hard work and persistence that this lady has put in to her field of work is astonishing. She has come from a difficult upbringing and has proved that she can still do wonderful things. Like many children now, they don’t all come from the best background, but that doesn’t matter. To do well at something a child just has to show passion for the subject and willingness to learn. Unfortunately not long after Marie and Pierre made there discoveries Marie lost her husband from an unfortunate incident where he was hit by a horse and carriage. After this incident Marie became the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne after taking over her husband Pierre’s teaching post. She also used her time to continue working on the project that they had started together. From all the hard work that she done she won a second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry for creating a means of measuring radioactivity.

Marie suffered whilst she worked on her studies as she was in constant contact with highly radioactive material. She had bouts of feeling unwell and tired; however she still fought through and made huge breakthroughs in her area. Marie designed mobile X-ray units that could be used to diagnose injuries near the battlefront.

“Marie Curie’s life as a scientist was one which flourished because of her ability to observe, deduce and predict. She is also arguably the first woman to make such a significant contribution to science. Marie Curie Cancer Care is proud to be named in honour of her”.

All of Marie’s work was recognised by the cancer trust hence they named it in honour of her. This is a huge achievement and without sounding sexist for a woman in her field. The field of engineering is struggling to have women on board there subject and it is a big problem. Young children especially girls need to realise that engineering is not just a male based job and that there are so many woman who have achieved amazing things in the field.

I hope that this information about such a legendary woman has shown how much a person can achieve in such a field as engineering. This is currently a male dominated career and I really wan that to change!

Please leave any comments below about how you feel about what is written in this blog. Thank you

🙂 Erin Furlong

 

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