Naina Runnoo

Mauritius

Research assistant

#MechanicalEngineering
Where are you from?

Currently based in

I am from Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean.

Mauritius

What is your educational background?

I studied BEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mauritius.

What is your current occupation?

I am currently working as a Research Assistant at my Alma Mater. My research is mainly focused on finding solutions to provide thermal comfort inside buildings in tropical region while reducing the use of Air-Conditioning Systems.

What (or who) got you into STEM?

I have always been curious about how things work and it is this curiosity that has got me into STEM. In my early childhood (in the 90s) I did not have access to the internet and to quench my thirst for knowledge, I was relying and learning mainly from an encyclopedia. However, the more I would learn about STEM, the more I felt there was to learn. This spark from my early childhood has eventually turn into an inferno and I cannot imagine myself leaving STEM now.

What is the biggest challenge/barrier you have faced as an African in STEM?

I haven't truly experienced anything drastic, except a few microaggressions.

How do you think your background/upbringing has been beneficial in your journey/career?

The moral and ethical values my parents instilled in me from a very young age have made me a better human being and a giver. My father made a lot of sacrifices to be able to provide me with a world-class education. He taught me to be perseverant in achieving my goals.

How do you think we can start to change the narrative surrounding African contributions to global STEM research & careers?

Exposure and visibility is key. The African contributions to global STEM research and careers must be highlighted to the rising generations at a very young age so that they feel the sense of belonging and eventually give back in the future. Mentorships and collaborations must also be encouraged for STEM advancement.

What advice would you like to give to young, aspiring African’s in STEM?

You have all you need to be Scientist, Technologist, Engineers and Mathematicians. Go prove it to yourself and make Africa the continent of tomorrow.

Do you have any project you're working on that you would like us to highlight?

I am currently co-hosting a podcast (Mythout) which will be launch soon. The podcast is about demystifying the biases and stereotypes STEM professionals undergo.

Social media links

Twitter: @nainarunnoo

Instagram: @nainarunnoo, @nia.rn

Linkedin: Nanna Runnoo

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EMAIL
info@visibilitystemafrica.com