Meet Dr Helen Fraser



Helen Fraser is currently a Senior Lecturer in Astronomy at the Open University, in London, UK.

When Helen was about 14, she wanted to be an embryologist! So science was always her focus, but as she progressed at school, Helen realized she loved chemistry, maths and physics more than the long words in Biology classes!! So, when she got to do work experience at 16, her Dad helped her to get a work placement at GEC Marconi Research - that changed Helen’s life course, career and interests. She worked on antennas and impedance measurements, and decided to apply to do Physics and Chemistry (Joint Honours) at University. She always harboured an interest in space - but she wasn't an amateur astronomer, she didn't really fit the geek profile - and she did a lot of other jobs and adventures along the way - including working summers as a student for a holiday company as a rep in Kavos! (Corfu), and playing football for the University.

At each stage of her career Helen followed her passions and interests - it actually wasn't until after her PhD that she finally ended up working in Astrochemistry - the cross over between Astronomy and Chemistry.

One day in the not too distance future Helen would like to be a Professor, and it’s her ambition to have a real impact on her research field, but find ways her very "blues skies" research can impact everyday human lives, in inspiring the future generations to pursue science and technology careers.

Even now her life is not just science – Helen is a qualified Scuba Diving Instructor and dives when she gets a chance – she’s a mum (another full-time job) – she is in a book group, a choirs and loves salsa dancing. Helen believes that life is busy, fun, and provides new challenges and eureka moments every day.

Learn more about what an astrobiologist does with "Who is an astrochemist?" article.

Helen Fraser
Place of job
Open University, UK
Lecturer, Astrochemist
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