Elly van Veen

Eleanor van Veen

Eleanor van Veen is a research fellow based jointly in the Camborne School of Mines (College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences) and the Environment and Sustainability Institute. Her work investigates how the residual metals left over from mining activities may interact with, and be absorbed by, soil and plants. She is also currently participating in a project designed to re-use waste shell material in artificial reefs.

Elly believes that all of society is negatively impacted when women are held back or discouraged from achieving their full potential in the workplace. She feels that improvements in specific working environments are bound to percolate outwards and have benefits not just at a particular institution, but throughout the sector and across the wider community. Elly cites Professor Frances Wall, former head of Camborne School of Mines, as “an amazing role model” who is “always extremely generous with her time and advice.”

Given her passion for, and dedication to, her research, it’s no surprise that Elly would give her fellow scientists a piece of advice relating to a cornerstone of academic life: “Publish”. That said, nothing makes Elly happier than spending time with her family, whether on holiday somewhere warm and sunny or just in her own living room over the weekend.

Indeed, she credits her family, along with her “wonderfully understanding” PhD supervisor, with giving her the support she needed to complete her doctorate on time nearly twelve years ago. This is an especially impressive achievement considering that Elly had a baby while completing her research and was pregnant with a second at the time of her viva. Elly modestly attributes this success merely to good time management. Whatever the exact cause of her accomplishments, it seems clear that others would do well to heed her motto: “Do what seems right for you at the time.”