Published 12 March 2020.
During British Science Week 2020, we’re introducing you to some of our talented scientists – including Rebecca Millar – to showcase their talent. Rebecca works for the Defence Ordnance Safety Group (DOSG) as an energetic material scientist.
Tell us about your career in DE&S please.
I have worked here since 2016. Since then, all my time has been spent in DOSG, both as a weapon safety advisor and then as an energetic material scientist. In between changing roles, I was seconded over to the Munitions Safety Information Analysis Centre (MSIAC) at NATO HQ in Brussels. There, I worked on a project reviewing safety data required for qualifying aircraft flares. I’ve also been working on an MSc in Explosive Ordnance Engineering for the last 3 years – and hope to finish this year.
If you were to explain your current job to a child, what would you say?
I help to ensure that the Army, Navy and Air Force have weapons and equipment that are safe to use.
If you were to choose your career all over, would you make the same decisions?
When I graduated, I went to work for a large oil company and spent a lot of my career working offshore and on a construction site. I gained really valuable skills in that job and got to travel to many places around the world. I wouldn’t change that, although I’m glad that I changed my career path as I’ve found a really interesting job in explosives!
What’s the strangest thing you’ve done in your job?
When I worked offshore, I had the strangest commute of getting a helicopter to work!
“A career in STEM has allowed me to travel the world, meet and work with an amazing array of people and just do really cool work. I have also had a large range of options for jobs, so have been able to choose work that I’m interested in”
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m most proud of becoming a chartered engineer. Hopefully I will also get an MSc soon, so I get to be both a scientist and an engineer!
What’s the most interesting development in science – or STEM more generally – right now, in your opinion?
My MSc thesis is looking at 3D printing of explosives. 3D printing is really interesting as it can benefit so many STEM industries.
What would you say to someone considering a career in STEM?
A career in STEM has allowed me to travel the world, meet and work with an amazing array of people and just do really cool work. I have also had a large range of options for jobs, so have been able to choose work that I’m interested in.