Inga Pudža, a researcher assistant at the University of Latvia’s Institute of Solid State Physics EXAFS Spectroscopy Laboratory, is studying molybdate, a copper compound which changes colour at extreme temperatures and could potentially tell shippers of vaccines, medicines and food if their cargoes might have been a little too warm or cool.

Inga Pudža is awarded the "Women in Science" prize for her work on the research of smart material copper molybdate (CuMoO4).

Inga was born in Daugavpils, and her mother, a science lecturer at Daugavpils University, was an excellent role model. And she had a passion for the hard subjects many of us shrink from at an early age.

She went on to study physics at the University of Latvia, where women were not a small minority. Hard science is tough regardless of gender, and the dropout rate from bachelor’s to master’s to PhD level is acute. And a career in science is not an easy path.

While still a bachelor student, she started working at EXAFS spectroscopy laboratory, which provides a stable and exciting working environment where she can continue her research. She also expresses her gratitude to her doctoral thesis supervisor Aleksejs Kuzmins.

28-year-old Inga has just gotten married, and she has no plans to leave Latvia.

Full text: