Professor Lesley Yellowlees holding a dye-sensitised solar cell.

I loved science from an early age. I loved doing experiments, loved mathematical challenges, loved problem-solving. I was fortunate to have inspiring science and maths teachers and supportive parents who all encouraged me to study chemistry, physics and maths. I enjoyed science, found it came naturally to me and never hesitated to pursue a career in chemistry.

Professor Lesley Yellowlees

My whole academic career has been at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating I worked in Australia, which is where I first got interested in solar energy. I then returned to the University to study for a PhD on how to convert the energy that comes from the sun into electricity, and this has remained the focus of my research to date. I led a successful research group for many years engaging with fantastic students and wonderful colleagues before taking up senior management roles at Edinburgh. One of the highlights of my academic career was when I became the President of the Royal Society of Chemistry – their first woman President in 170 years.

Many people are surprised that solar energy has a part to play in Scotland but, in fact, we get more than enough sunlight for solar energy to be an important component of our renewable energy portfolio – witness the increasing number of solar panels on roofs. There’s still plenty of research to be done, not only in turning sunlight into electricity and making it an efficient process using cheap, readily-available
chemicals, but also in being able to store this energy so that we can use it during the night when the sun isn’t shining.

Lesley is holding a dye-sensitised solar cell as prepared in Professor Neil Robertson’s research lab. The dark circle contains an organic dye to absorb the sunlight sandwiched between conducting glass to transfer the generated electrons.


Meet Scotland’s Women in Science

I‘m an Immunologist by training and believe that fighting infection through the same or similar mechanisms which the body’s immune
I’m a Human Geneticist but there’s nothing in my past that suggests that that’s what I would become. My journey
I currently lead a major project sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Civil Engineering Contractor, BAM Nuttall,
I am a Soft Matter and Biological Physicist, which means I study anything that wobbles when you poke it. Professor
Working as a teenage Mary Poppins on a summer ‘dude ranch’ in Texas, I found myself fearing that my brain
Transformative innovations in medicine and public health require triple helix collaborations between the NHS, academia, and industry. Professor Dame Anna
As a child, I used to sit down every week and watch Star Trek, with all its iPads, body scanners,
My greatest desire is not to be the only woman on a committee or a slate of speakers as so
I wanted to be a scientist for as long as I can remember, and I went to university to study
I am an Anatomist and a Forensic Anthropologist. By exploring the intricacies and variability of the human body, my disciplines
I am a Synthetic Chemist who, in general terms, can be described as a molecular architect. Our research focuses on
I am a Clinical Academic and have the privilege of working with patients. This offers me the opportunity to understand
I’ve always liked mathematics, even as a small child. I liked its rigour and simplicity, but I came to realise
My research involves developing the technique of surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) for multiplexed bioanalytical applications. Professor Karen Faulds Raman involves
I loved science from an early age. I loved doing experiments, loved mathematical challenges, loved problem-solving. I was fortunate to
I am an Environmental Hydrologist with a BSc in Environmental Sciences. I did a PhD in Wetland Hydrochemistry that inspired
I am a Pharmacologist and studied Pharmacology at Edinburgh University, both for my BSc and PhD. I was always interested
I have a natural curiosity for knowledge, so research and university are natural fits for me. I came to Scotland
I was born in Dundee and grew up in Ireland in a family of scientists. My parents were scientists involved
I’ve always been interested in biology. I was that child who got the frog spawn out of the pond and
I make unusual molecules from the metals at the bottom ofthe periodic table. We don’t know enough about their bonding,and
I am an Engineer who works in academia. I was the first woman to be Professor of Chemical Engineering in
I was Professor of Dermatology at the University of Glasgow 1978–2000, the first time in its 500-year history that a
I am an Applied Statistician. I develop new methods and techniques for analysing different types of data, particularly in the
Although I was always interested in science at school back in Liverpool, my first aim in life was to be
I’m an Experimental Physicist. I carry out research designing and building instrumentation for observatories that have detected the first gravitational