Dr Danielle shares her career experiences at the University of Sheffield


A day in the life of Dr Danielle at the University of Sheffield

A day in the life of Dr Danielle at the University of Sheffield

Grantham Supervisor Dr Danielle Densley Tingley, Lecturer in Architectural Engineering at the University of Sheffield took time out from her busy life to answer a few questions about life and work at the University of Sheffield.

Everyone should be supported

Danielle has a fantastic job at the university, where she researches different methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our buildings and cities, and she teaches this as well as some more general sustainability principles to future civil and structural engineers. Outside of work, Danille likes to travel. "Incredible landscapes and amazing wild animals have me hopping around the world (ideally after work trips to reduce my air miles). She also loves taekwondo, yoga, photography, and renovating her house.

When asked how she feels supported as a woman at the University of Sheffield, Danielle said: "My (slightly controversial) view is that everyone at the University should be supported equally – and it’s important we ensure this happens across the board, my being a woman is a little irrelevant in that respect. I have a great research group who I work with – and this is my day to day support. I also have a couple of mentors (one formally, one less officially) who I discuss progress/problems etc with – I find it really useful to discuss work challenges in this context, and learn from those who have more experience."

An exciting field with a huge impact

Danielle thrives on the opportunity to make a difference. "The built environment has a huge impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, the area I focus on, material use in construction, is often overlooked or the scale of impacts not appreciated. My research works on different methods to reduce the material demand of the built environment – from building design to systems of materials in cities. In teaching, I try to pass on these techniques to future Civil and Structural Engineers so they’re equipped to make a difference too."

Danielle loves the variation and independence of her role – "I get to decide what areas I think are important to research – then I just have to persuade someone to fund them!"

Danielle has multiple challenges in her role

Juggling multiple priorities and demands for her time is one of Danielle's biggest challenges. "As an academic, I have what I consider to be the core parts of my role – research and teaching, within research, in particular, I have existing research projects to run, like the Urban Flows Observatory, but I’m also putting together funding proposals for new projects. This plus teaching, and various administrative tasks meaning I’m having to learn to be much better at saying no other extra tasks!

Career advice from an inspirational female leader 

"Do what you enjoy – you spend 40 hours (plus) a week working, so you should spend this time doing something you enjoy or at least think is important.

An academic career that spans ten years at the University of Sheffield

Danielle joined the university as a lecturer about two years ago, but including her time studying, she been with the university for just over ten years: four years as undergrad, another three doing her PhD, then just over a year as a postdoc. Danielle then went to work at the University of Cambridge for just under two years as a postdoc, but she couldn't stay away from Sheffield, and came back for postdoc, "which I was in for 8 months before getting my lectureship. It's a very friendly, non-hierarchical working environment – at least in my research group/department – which makes the day to day more fun."

Join talented women like Danielle at the University of Sheffield

As one of the world's best universities, with an outstanding reputation for teaching and academic research, the University of Sheffield is currently looking for talented candidates across many roles. 

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