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Ritwika (Ricky) Sengupta


Describe yourself in three words

Excitable, organized, slight-worrier.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever done in your career?

As a PhD student you often get to go to conferences all over the world and meet so many different people with new ideas. I have really enjoyed that and enjoyed making amazing new friends.

What or who inspired you to follow your career?

I really enjoyed Chemistry and History A-Levels and didn’t want to stop doing either of them. So, I chose Geology because it had both – Earth History, and the way we find out about it involved Chemistry!

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you choose instead?

A detective!

What’s your favourite food?

Dahl (a lentil stew) and rice. It’s the ultimate comfort food!

What is the most fun thing you’ve done?

I went caving once in limestone caves in France. It was terrifying but at the same time so so fun.

Best thing about where you grew up?

I grew up in lots of places – Kolkata (India), Delhi (India), and a village near Cambridge (UK). Each place had its own character, and I miss them all. I liked all the street-food and sweets that Kolkata is famous for, the old medieval buildings in Delhi, and I miss the friends I have from school in Cambridge!

Best and worst thing about school?

I had a difficult time at school as I moved to the UK aged 12. There were not many people who looked like me, I didn’t understand English when spoken quickly, and I found it very hard to fit in. Some of the teachers were so encouraging from day one (my Maths teacher, my English teacher), and they really helped me to come out of my shell.

Describe your perfect weekend in 5 words?

Friends, food, boardgames, walks, books.

Which ‘people like me’ personality type did you come out with?


What do you do when the going gets tough?

I usually take a bit of time out from whatever is bothering me, and come back to it with a fresh mind.

What makes you laugh?

Silly puns, particularly the ones my partner makes.

What do you want to do after your PhD?

I am not sure yet! I have been thinking about continuing on as a researcher, but am also looking at the civil service.