Dr. Carlene Campbell was elected the 2021 Chair of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, she is only the second woman, first black woman, first Caribbean, Jamaican woman to have held that position in the Institutions 150 year history. This is just one of the many firsts Dr. Campbell has achieved in a very impressive career in tech. Now she is focused on motivating other women to explore male dominated careers and like her make waves.
Dr. Campbell grew up in Matinee, a small district nestled between Frankfield and Smithville in North West Clarendon. At the end of High School she was given on the job training in the health sector in the area of Epidemiology and assign a mentor, Dr, Carlene Carpenter whom she credits as being the person who encouraged her to do computing.
Dr. Campbell was a quick study and soon drew the praise of her superiors who all thought she would pursue medicine given her aptitude. However, it wasn’t until she discovered an unused computer in the office that she really started to stand out. Using her knowledge of Lotus 1-2-3 she began to automate her tasks, printing reports and statistics data analysis for the doctors to take to meetings. This was the spark that led to her pursuing a Double Major undergraduate degree at the University of Technology Jamaica in Computer and Management Studies.
She then went on to complete a MSc in Telecommunications and Computer Networks at London South Bank University and was awarded a PhD from Middlesex University in London, where her research focus was in the area of Wireless Sensor Networks and investigating multichannel assignment for a Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol based on IEEE 802.11 Distributed Co-ordinated Function.
Just so you understand the type of amazing this woman is, here are some other major moves Dr. Campbell has made in her illustrious career so far:
- Dr. Campbell is the only black academic staff in the School of Applied Computing at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.
- Earlier this year she was awarded the title of Associated Professor of Cyber Security and lectures interdisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate modules in; Computer Networks, Cybersecurity, Computer Forensics, wireless Networks and Simulation, Advanced Cybersecurity, Data Security, Network Security, Security Analysis, Techniques & Procedures and Emerging and Future Trends.
- She is the Institute Manager of Research Degrees and serves as the Chair of the admission committee for postgraduate researchers at the Wales Institute of Science and Art (WISA) at the UWTSD.
- Her research work span various interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects by applying technological solutions within the areas such Automotive Engineering, Built and Natural Environment, Electrical and electronic engineering, etc., and has generated over 20 peer reviewed international journal publications and conference papers, a chapter in the book entitled Wireless Sensor Networks: Current Status and Future Trends and a co-wrote the book Multichannel Wireless Sensor Networks MAC Protocol with Kok-Keong Jonathan Loo.
Motivated to Inspire
So what drives Dr. Carlene to excel and break through these barriers in such a white male dominated field?
“One of the things I strive for is to as much as possible motivate women to explore technology or engineering or other S.T.E.M fields … It is so rewarding and fulfilling to see women inventing and coming up with ideas that impact the technology in a positive way.“
Her advice to young women in tech or thinking about pursuing a career in tech?
“Tech is an exciting field get involved, make your voices heard don’t be shy to communicate or feel intimated. Be very confident, believe in yourselves and keep persevering even when you’re outnumbered and surrounded by men.”
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