Diversity & Inclusion

Women in IP case study

Dr Wenjuan Sun – Senior Research Scientist at National Physical Laboratory

Dr Wenjuan Sun is a senior research scientist at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. She has established a wide range of research interests and expertise in X-ray computed tomography, optical coordinate measuring techniques, and their applications in dimensional metrology. She leads international and national projects focusing on developing X-ray computed tomography for dimensional metrology at NPL. She is the president and one of the founders of the Dimensional X-ray Computed Tomography society (dXCT), a member of the International Organisation for Standardisation TC 213, and a member of the British Standards Institution TPR/1. She is also a Facilities Board member of the National X-ray Computed Tomography (NXCT).

Wenjuan has been very interested in mathematics and physics since she was a child, but the learning resources available at that time were extremely limited. After graduating from university with a Physics Education degree, Wenjuan won the opportunity to pursue a PhD in precision engineering at the University of Southampton, where she learned research methodologies, developed independent thinking skills, and established problem-solving ability. These were further strengthened as part of her work at NPL.

Thanks to the Analysis for Innovators Competition (A4I), Wenjuan undertook several opportunities to support businesses in solving metrology challenges and improving product quality and business competitiveness. Wenjuan realised many small and medium-sized enterprises have limited or no research infrastructure and cannot afford a significant budget for development and improvement. Therefore, simple and effective solutions are more important and applicable. Companies are looking for cost-effective solutions to provide quality control of their products.  Wenjuan invented a system optimisation-based solution, demonstrating the great potential for cost saving and data saving. This novel solution is patent pending and work is underway to provide industry with access to this ground-breaking technology. The support of the Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT) via a Knowledge Asset Grant enabled Wenjuan to validate the market potential and accelerated the commercial readiness of this innovative idea, alongside the technology development. Interviews she held with companies confirmed that the technology could save them significant time and costs, as well as providing more comprehensive testing data to confirm the quality of their products.

At work, Wenjuan supervises PhD students and mentors staff at NPL. At home, Wenjuan is the mother of two girls. Wenjuan is keen to pass her knowledge and creativity experience to the younger generation cultivating the creative ability of the next generation, especially with the impact of growing areas such as artificial intelligence.

Date Published: 26 April 2023

Alternative Diversity & Inclusion

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