November 2014

Maria Victoria Felice

Maria Victoria Felice

Retired Editor

Maria grew up in Malta and attended its one and only university. In Summer 2010 she graduated in Mechanical Engineering, and later that year started an EngD at the University of Bristol and Rolls-Royce. Maria has always loved writing and, as an undergraduate student dealing mostly with numbers and single Greek letters, decided to start writing for student newspapers and websites.

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From the archives: Geek Nation- a review


I am a geek and I am a Girl Geek Dinner attendee, just like the author of ‘Geek Nation’ – journalist and broadcaster Angela Saini. Angela Saini got in touch with the Bristol Girl Geeks before coming to Bristol in May 2012 to talk about her book at the Bristol Festival of Ideas [1]. The event was entitled ‘In Defence of Geeks’ and Saini and Mark Henderson were the main speakers. (I was one of many local geeks in the packed venue.) Mark Henderson is the author of 'The Geek Manifesto' which is reviewed in this month’s editorial. Saini has spoken about 'Geek Nation' on the BBC’s ‘Meet the Author’ [2] and the interview is well worth a listen.

I learnt a lot from reading 'Geek Nation' but also got that lovely fuzzy feeling I get when reading an excellent novel and the tinge of sadness when it’s over. What follows is a very brief description of this eye-opening book.

The book

Saini starts by writing about the Bakhshali Manuscript, which was written in India in c. AD 700 and is now at the University of Oxford, where Saini obtained a Masters in Engineering. This manuscript is one of the earliest mathematics textbooks but when it was discovered by a farmer in 1881, India was impoverished and not enjoying anything like the European Enlightenment. Nowadays, is India catching up? Numbers and figures might not give a clear answer. But the spirit of the Indian people does – as it has done for a long time.

We are all familiar with the Space Race between the US and the USSR. I had not heard anything about India’s Space Programme though - until I read...

From the archives: N. D. what?

From the archives- Non destructive evaluation jobs come with a lot of responsibility and reward.

Girl Geek Dinners - what's the point?

Maria shares with us her experiences of attending/organizing a well known group of social events, Girl Geek Dinners, as a means to encourage more women into STEM careers, as well as celebrating those already there.

Electricity generation around the world: Low-carbon Switzerland is a winner – for now

In the first article of a new series 'Electricity generation around the world', Maria introduces us to how electricity is generated in Switzerland

STEM for all

Maria encourages university students to help out with local school children's STEM education.

The A350 XWB - a first for aerospace, a first for composites

After witnessing a prototype A350 XWB fuselage being manufactured, Maria writes about this new Airbus.

Fashionable Technology

Sabine Seymour coined the term 'Fashionable Technology' and wrote a book about it. Maria explores this futuristic fusion of fashion, design, science and technology.

Geek Nation

A review of Angela Saini's book about Indian science taking over the world.

Handbags and power stations

An overview of the vast array of exhibits at the Heatherwick Studio, including the unforgettable Olympic cauldron.

In the service of society

Overview of the 18th World Conference on Non-Destructive Testing, held last month in South Africa.

I don’t fix washing machines

Recently, it was reported that there is just one mother and daughter pair who are both Chartered Engineers in the UK.

Why you should not store ammunition in a stable

Jobs exist in industry for those who understand the complex 3D nature of stress corrosion cracks, and how to stop them spreading.

N. D. what?

Non destructive evaluation jobs come with a lot of responsibility and reward.