International Women’s Day 2022 – Interview with Hazel Hung

CPE finds out what it’s like to be a woman at a senior level in the Photonics sector. We recently caught up with Dr Hazel Hung, Programme Manager of CSconnected Strength in Places Fund Project (SIPF) at Cardiff University, and former CPE South Business Development Manager at the University of South Wales.

 

Why the Photonics industry?

I have always been interested in industry applications to research and there was something about lasers and light that just fascinated me. I’ve seen how the digital world has grown at an immense pace the last two decades and photonics technology has been entwined in our lives. Photonics is a really exciting sector to be in right now.

 

What is your current role?

I am Programme Manager of CSconnected SIPF based at Cardiff University. The project is part of the UKRI Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) and is building on regional strengths in the compound semiconductor sector in South Wales. I’m really excited to be working with so many manufacturers, research organisations and universities.

 

What was your previous role?

I was Business Development Manager at CPE for two years based at University of South Wales. I loved this role and the opportunity I had to get to know the innovation community and landscape in Wales. It was great to see how photonics can be applied to such a wide variety of sectors and to watch university-industry collaborations develop.

 

What background and experience has led you to this point?

I did a physics degree at Imperial College London and had several summer placements at QinetiQ in Malvern where they carried out photonics research. This piqued my interest in lasers and optics which guided my choice of courses at university. I went on to study a PhD at Southampton University where I learned a wide range of photonics skills. After graduating, I spent over 6 years working for a spin-out company where I started out doing R&D but found enjoyment in sales, marketing and essentially telling people about the technology and how it could be used. And that is really what I enjoy about my most recent roles as well as, most crucially, being part of something that I am passionate about.

 

How have you found being a woman at a senior level in the Photonics sector?

Working in a male-dominated work-place has always been the norm for me and I am glad to say that, as a whole, have always felt respected as a female colleague both within the university and industry organisations that I have worked. My harshest critic is myself and I don’t think that I’m alone in that. However, I think that being under-represented meant that I was less likely to have the confidence to apply for more senior roles.

 

What or who inspired you to take your career path?

My network of connections has without a doubt played a vital part identifying in role models and an understanding of what types of jobs are out there in the photonics sector. Keeping in touch with friends, colleagues and connections is so important and, on many occasions, have led me to new opportunities.

 

What are your career aspirations?

To enjoy my job with the challenges it brings, the wonderful people I meet, and to never be bored!

 

How do you juggle family and career life?

My career was on pause when I had two kids, two years apart. It was tough starting up again, especially as we had recently moved to Wales from England and I knew nothing about the photonics activity in the region. Working part-time I felt guilt on both sides as a mum and an employee and I gradually found my home at CPE where I stayed for over two years. Now that both children are in school, it’s the family that grounds me and makes sure that I keep that work-life balance.

 

What does the industry need in skills and experience that you can recommend other women in the industry seek to address?

More diversity as a whole is needed in senior roles. This is going to be a slow process if diversity within an organisation is below the average representation. Initiatives to inspire young people from all backgrounds to pursue a career in STEM are really important to encourage more gender, ethnic, and neurodiversity. And this is down to everyone to create this change in culture.

 

A big thank you to Hazel for taking the time to talk to us. To learn more about the CSConnected Strength in Places Fund Project (SIPF), visit https://csconnected.com/csconnectedsip/

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies
Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

Case Studies

Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation

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Optical system design analysis of precision instrumentation
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Mon Naturals: Testimonial

CPE team were very proactive in setting up the joint project and managing it. They provided strong communication throughout the 2-month project, and ran it smoothly to its conclusion. We now have a much stronger understanding of what was possible for our optical product concept and have already identified the follow-up opportunity to take advantage of the CPE’s vacuum coating facility.

AVoptics

Malcolm Watson, Principal Research Engineer

We at Mon Naturals were really impressed with CPE and their project capabilities. After initially agreeing to a possible collaboration with the CPE Team, a project was put in place and up and running in no time. This process was efficient and allowed the focus to be on the project rather than the paperwork. From the start this has been a positive experience and I can only thank the team for their professionalism.

Mon Naturals

Ianto Jones, Director

Being a small start up in the Environmental Sector can be daunting when looking for advice and help to progress basic ideas. Producing a collaboration with CPE was not only quick to instigate but provided a sounding board and technical capability to advance our basic idea to prototype stage for further funding. The administration tasks were made simple and without this form of academic help the project may have been on hold indefinitely until spare time and cash flow would allow.

Enviro 365

Tony Powell, Managing Director

CPE team were very proactive in setting up the joint project and managing it. They provided strong communication throughout the 2-month project, and ran it smoothly to its conclusion. We now have a much stronger understanding of what was possible for our optical product concept and have already identified the follow-up opportunity to take advantage of the CPE’s vacuum coating facility.

AVoptics

Malcolm Watson, Principal Research Engineer

We at Mon Naturals were really impressed with CPE and their project capabilities. After initially agreeing to a possible collaboration with the CPE Team, a project was put in place and up and running in no time. This process was efficient and allowed the focus to be on the project rather than the paperwork. From the start this has been a positive experience and I can only thank the team for their professionalism.

Mon Naturals

Ianto Jones, Director

Being a small start up in the Environmental Sector can be daunting when looking for advice and help to progress basic ideas. Producing a collaboration with CPE was not only quick to instigate but provided a sounding board and technical capability to advance our basic idea to prototype stage for further funding. The administration tasks were made simple and without this form of academic help the project may have been on hold indefinitely until spare time and cash flow would allow.

Enviro 365

Tony Powell, Managing Director

CPE team were very proactive in setting up the joint project and managing it. They provided strong communication throughout the 2-month project, and ran it smoothly to its conclusion. We now have a much stronger understanding of what was possible for our optical product concept and have already identified the follow-up opportunity to take advantage of the CPE’s vacuum coating facility.

AVoptics

Malcolm Watson, Principal Research Engineer

We at Mon Naturals were really impressed with CPE and their project capabilities. After initially agreeing to a possible collaboration with the CPE Team, a project was put in place and up and running in no time. This process was efficient and allowed the focus to be on the project rather than the paperwork. From the start this has been a positive experience and I can only thank the team for their professionalism.

Mon Naturals

Ianto Jones, Director

Being a small start up in the Environmental Sector can be daunting when looking for advice and help to progress basic ideas. Producing a collaboration with CPE was not only quick to instigate but provided a sounding board and technical capability to advance our basic idea to prototype stage for further funding. The administration tasks were made simple and without this form of academic help the project may have been on hold indefinitely until spare time and cash flow would allow.

Enviro 365

Tony Powell, Managing Director

CPE team were very proactive in setting up the joint project and managing it. They provided strong communication throughout the 2-month project, and ran it smoothly to its conclusion. We now have a much stronger understanding of what was possible for our optical product concept and have already identified the follow-up opportunity to take advantage of the CPE’s vacuum coating facility.

AVoptics

Malcolm Watson, Principal Research Engineer

We at Mon Naturals were really impressed with CPE and their project capabilities. After initially agreeing to a possible collaboration with the CPE Team, a project was put in place and up and running in no time. This process was efficient and allowed the focus to be on the project rather than the paperwork. From the start this has been a positive experience and I can only thank the team for their professionalism.

Mon Naturals

Ianto Jones, Director

Being a small start up in the Environmental Sector can be daunting when looking for advice and help to progress basic ideas. Producing a collaboration with CPE was not only quick to instigate but provided a sounding board and technical capability to advance our basic idea to prototype stage for further funding. The administration tasks were made simple and without this form of academic help the project may have been on hold indefinitely until spare time and cash flow would allow.

Enviro 365

Tony Powell, Managing Director

CPE team were very proactive in setting up the joint project and managing it. They provided strong communication throughout the 2-month project, and ran it smoothly to its conclusion. We now have a much stronger understanding of what was possible for our optical product concept and have already identified the follow-up opportunity to take advantage of the CPE’s vacuum coating facility.

AVoptics

Malcolm Watson, Principal Research Engineer

We at Mon Naturals were really impressed with CPE and their project capabilities. After initially agreeing to a possible collaboration with the CPE Team, a project was put in place and up and running in no time. This process was efficient and allowed the focus to be on the project rather than the paperwork. From the start this has been a positive experience and I can only thank the team for their professionalism.

Mon Naturals

Ianto Jones, Director

Being a small start up in the Environmental Sector can be daunting when looking for advice and help to progress basic ideas. Producing a collaboration with CPE was not only quick to instigate but provided a sounding board and technical capability to advance our basic idea to prototype stage for further funding. The administration tasks were made simple and without this form of academic help the project may have been on hold indefinitely until spare time and cash flow would allow.

Enviro 365

Tony Powell, Managing Director

CPE team were very proactive in setting up the joint project and managing it. They provided strong communication throughout the 2-month project, and ran it smoothly to its conclusion. We now have a much stronger understanding of what was possible for our optical product concept and have already identified the follow-up opportunity to take advantage of the CPE’s vacuum coating facility.

AVoptics

Malcolm Watson, Principal Research Engineer

We at Mon Naturals were really impressed with CPE and their project capabilities. After initially agreeing to a possible collaboration with the CPE Team, a project was put in place and up and running in no time. This process was efficient and allowed the focus to be on the project rather than the paperwork. From the start this has been a positive experience and I can only thank the team for their professionalism.

Mon Naturals

Ianto Jones, Director

Being a small start up in the Environmental Sector can be daunting when looking for advice and help to progress basic ideas. Producing a collaboration with CPE was not only quick to instigate but provided a sounding board and technical capability to advance our basic idea to prototype stage for further funding. The administration tasks were made simple and without this form of academic help the project may have been on hold indefinitely until spare time and cash flow would allow.

Enviro 365

Tony Powell, Managing Director

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