Dr Anna Ploszajski is an award-winning materials scientist, engineer and science communicator. By day, Anna is a Research Fellow at UCL’s Institute of Making, researching 4D printing and smart fabrics. These are 3D printed materials and structures which move in reaction to certain stimuli, like heat, light or moisture – the fourth dimension is time. Her PhD thesis passed with no corrections, and examined the materials science and engineering of solid-state hydrogen storage materials.
By night Anna communicates materials science on stage, on radio, on TV and on the page. She can often be found in the basement of London’s pubs doing stand-up comedy about the time she worked at NASA, or the time she tried to break a landspeed record. Throughout the year she frequents science festivals across the country entertaining families with demo-packed shows. Anna’s podcast, ‘rial Talk, features fortnightly chats with artists, makers, movers and shakers all with a passion for materials, and she is currently writing a popular science book about materials and making.
In 2017 Anna was named Young Engineer of the Year by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and in 2018 won the Silver Medal from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. In 2019 Anna was named runner-up in the Nesta Tipping Point Prize science writing competition, with a piece on 4D materials.
In her spare time, Anna plays the trumpet in a funk and soul covers band called Don’t Freak Out and swam the English Channel in July 2018. Oh, and it’s pronounced “Por-shy-ski”.