Seven years of study and passion for clothing and textiles lead to a doctorate


Sophie Wilson, 26, earned a doctorate in clothing and textile science in December. Photo / Provided

A passion for clothing and textiles turned into a doctorate.

After seven years of study, Sophie Wilson, 26, has completed her doctorate in clothing and textile sciences.

She says earning a doctorate has been a long-term goal since discovering tissue technology.

“I went to Rawhitiroa School and then Stratford Secondary School for my secondary education. I studied fabric technology in school and ever since have had an interest in clothing and textiles.”

Sophie loves the diversity covered by the sciences of clothing and textiles.

“It’s such a broad spectrum. It’s more than fashion. It’s the making of the product, from the fiber to the yarn and the whole process to the end result.”

The support of her textile technology teacher in high school encouraged her to go to college and earn a doctorate.

“I enjoyed every minute.”

After graduating from high school in 2013, Sophie began her graduate studies at the University of Otago in 2014.

She says the first step to earning her doctorate was to complete a Bachelor of Science in Apparel and Textile Science.

“I also had a focus on zoology. It was a three-year course. In 2017, I moved on to my master’s, which was two years.”

She says that at the start of her first year of her master’s degree in 2018, she learned that the Center for Materials Science and Technology was going to be closed.

“The staff gave me a lot of support to continue my PhD studies. Luckily, I started my PhD just before the deadline so I could continue my studies until the end.”

To obtain the doctorate, Sophie did experimental work and wrote a thesis.

Sophie graduated in December 2021 and says she is delighted to have the doctorate.

“It’s something I worked hard on and having it now is such a good feeling.”


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