Women in STEM by Ling Min Tan

Grantham Scholar Ling Min Tan has written a poetic call for action to encourage young women to be confident and promote enthusiasm in engaging with STEM related fields. Ling Min has achieved a Masters Degree (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Now she is working on her PhD project in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering to develop a robust conceptual framework that describes the metabolic characteristics of a city. The research question emphasises the relationship between the spatial characteristics and economic structure on the patterns of resources flow and energy consumption in cities. It gives an insight into cities’ performance on resource management, grounded in a scientific understanding of sustainability and will assist urban stakeholders in the implementation of environmental policies for effective use of resources.

You will never know what you are capable of unless you try

Women in STEM

What are the stereotypes for “engineer”?

What image comes to your mind for the word “scientist”?

Do you enjoy building things with LEGO?

Do you think the world of technology is wonderful?

Have you thought of developing your own software?

Have you dreamed of exploring the outer space?

Who is the best fit for the job?

Anyone can. Anything is possible if you believe it.


In my journey from 2012 to 2018, from A-level to PhD, from home to Sheffield,

I made friends from all around the world, boys and girls, men and women, working in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

My exposure to diversity has broadened my horizon.

It allows me to be creative on daily basis.

In first year, I developed an affordable water filter for people who live in rural areas.

In second year, I completed an internship at a steel manufacturing company.   

In third year, I redesigned the mechanism of medical chair to help those in needs.

In fourth year, I assembled an ultrasonic monitoring system to improve the operation of a car engine.

In fifth year, I landed my PhD with the ambition for an academic career.

In sixth year, I would like to share my experience for being a woman in STEM.

Through years of experience, I have discovered my strength.

I feel a sense of accomplishment which motivates me to be competent in every task I undertake.

You will never know what you are capable of unless you try.


My PhD research focuses on resources consumption in urban areas.

I am solving global problems for sustainable developments.

I play a role in creating a better living environment for our next generations.  

I will make an impact to change for a brighter future.

I am proud of where I am.

I am ambitious with what I am going to achieve.


As a woman in STEM research,

I was given the opportunity that I deserved.

I am being respected for who I am.

My voice is being heard.

My opinions are being appreciated.

My efforts are paying off.

For the trust and support I received, I will strive to prove myself.

Have I ever been challenged?

Have people questioned my decision?

Yes. Certainly.

But I don’t see it as a reason to give in.

When working in STEM projects, every decision matters.

I am willing to bear the responsibilities.

I am ready to face the challenges.

I am working towards a career in STEM, following my dreams.


Are you in doubt?

There is no right answer, only the passion for a better world.

If you want it, just go for it.

Believe in yourself, women in STEM.