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The success of the criss-cross

Susan Stipp is convinced that great results are reached by teaming up scientists from various disciplines and letting them share their knowledge and viewpoints. Susan herself has studied: geology, geo-chemistry, hydro-geology, engineering, chemistry and physics with emphasis on nano-techniques.

Susan Stipp is Canadian. She is a professor and director of the Nano-Science Center at Copenhagen University. Here she has created her own science lab and is managing an international team of 48 scientists. Their focus is on the basic needs of future society. How the nano-techniques can help protecting the environment and help developing our raw materials to last longer.

Being a woman where men are dominating
‘I’ve met a lot of opposition during my whole career because I’m a woman’ Susan explains. An event that has stuck to her memory took place in the early years at university. She had been working really hard the first year and was accepted to continue her studies. A male professor shows up at the auditorium and says to the class that today there are 65 students. Around Christmas he knows they will be reduced to 15. And he continues: ‘And you 3 girls on the front row. There’s the door out. You shouldn’t look for your husbands here. We are here to learn about geology!’. But Susan lasted ‘At the end of the year I was one of the 15. I was actually the best of the 15’, Susan says with a bit of anger and resentment still resting in her voice.

The grandparents gave her the tools
Susan was raised by her grandparents and they also became role models in many ways. Her grandmother was a stubborn woman and she taught Susan never to give up. Honesty and working hard were important qualities in the family and giving up was just not an option. Susan and her grandfather were always searching for answers to difficult questions. Those of Susan’s questions he could not answer right away, they had to make further research into. He encouraged Susan’s curiosity.
My grandmother once said to me: ‘Will you ever get a real job, or will you continue just playing and having fun?’. And to Susan that’s exactly the beauty of being a scientist. You work long hours, but you play and have fun all the time, so it doesn’t really matter.

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