Mary Kate Chessey

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Mary Kate Chessey joined the BSC Fusion Group at the end of 2021 to study physical properties of fusion reactor materials, especially thermal conductivity of tungsten damaged by neutron irradiation. Before moving to Barcelona, Mary Kate grew up in the USA, where she completed her PhD and a postdoctoral appointment in Physics Education Research. She also taught introductory physics courses for life sciences and medical students at the University of California, Davis (PhD institution) and at the University of Maryland, College Park (postdoc institution). A foundation in physics, math, and scientific computing enabled her to shift focus from Physics Education Research to Computational Modeling for Fusion.
A major responsibility of scientists is to conduct research ethically by promoting inclusive workplaces. As such, Mary Kate frequently participates in women in physics mentorship programs and in student activist groups that aim to change biased policies, especially due to racism and sexism, in physics departments. Her research experience in physics education supplies substantive evidence that she uses to support recommendations for practical changes.
Besides doing physics research, Mary Kate enjoys playing the bassoon and listening to Queen and Måneskin!