Meet Our Senior Electro-Chemist, Dr Belen Bello Rodriguez!
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I live in St Albans, about 32 km north-west from central London, with my boyfriend and toddler son. In my spare time, I enjoy sports and the outdoors. I go running when I can and practice yoga. My favourite activity is hiking and trekking, anything related to mountaineering. Travelling is my other passion; I love discovering new cultures and places. Usually, they both go together, on vacations, I try to go to areas with good mountain routes.
After completing my PhD on the development of electrochemical biosensors, I moved to research in Materials Science at Cambridge University. I have worked in various organisations in the UK, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Switzerland.
My everyday routine starts usually when I wake up at 05:30, get ready and go to work at the Addionics laboratories in White City, London. I get home just to have enough time to get dinner ready for my son, play a bit with him and put him to sleep.
"Being a young woman in a predominantly male world, I often had to prove myself and fight my corner."
What is the most significant professional challenge you had in the past?
One of the biggest challenges in my career was moving from the academic world into the industry. Until then I had been working in very open-minded and flexible environments compared to the more aggressive and competitive industrial sector. Being a young woman in a predominantly male world, I often had to prove myself and fight my corner. I never argued with people who patronised me or thought I was not up to the task. Instead, I tried to have constructive discussions. You will always have to prove yourself at some point in your life, but that is not necessarily a negative event as it enhances your confidence and
"In many cases, the investigated system will not behave as expected, and with a tight schedule for achieving results, you have to use all your resources and thinking!"
What were the two most significant challenges you deal with since starting to work at Addionics?
The biggest challenge of working at Addionics is developing a product from scratch. Until now I have worked for well-established companies with successful products in the market. At Addionics we are building a brand new product from a concept, which is very exciting but adds pressure as we need to come up with something innovative and practical.
The second challenge is very closely related to the first; how to transfer my professional background to solving problems in the development of our products. I try to make sense of the results based on my theoretical knowledge, but that often is easier said than done. In many cases, the investigated system will not behave as expected, and with a tight schedule for achieving results, you have to use all your resources and thinking!
"I also enjoy the balance between research and practical application of my job, and the excellent atmosphere among us. I am happy coming to work, something that hadn’t happened for a long time!"
How is it to be Senior Electro-chemist at Addionics?
It’s a young and ambitious company, we are only a few employees at the UK site right now, but that is not a bad point. We all know each other and work together very well, which can also be favourable for the growth of the company. I don’t feel like “one more” from a bunch of workers, there is a feeling of belonging. Being able to talk to the managers and CEO is also very positive, I have seen in previous posts how out of touch the top managers could be, and how that translated into low morale and poor productivity from the workforce. At Addionics I also enjoy the balance between deep tech, practical application of my job, and the excellent atmosphere among us. I am happy coming to work, something that hadn’t happened for a long time!