Haileigh graduated with an MA (hons) in Archaeology from the University of Glasgow in 2011. As an undergraduate she focused on the archaeology and history of medieval Scotland alongside studying modern material culture and museum practices. During her studies she spent one year as a volunteer in textile conservation at the Burrell Collection (Glasgow) working mostly on The Burrell Tapestries Research Project. In the summer of 2011 Haileigh won a Vacation Scholarship funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, enabling her to work with the Arms and Armour collection and library at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre. In 2015 she passed her PhD: ‘Imitable Thunder’: the role of gunpowder in seventeenth-century experimental science. This dissertation was funded by the AHRC as a Collaborative Doctoral Award, and was conducted at the University of York in partnership with the Royal Armouries (Leeds) with whom Haileigh worked on the reconstruction/ reworking of historic experiments.
From 2016 Haileigh worked at the Science Museum (London) as Assistant Curator of Technologies and Engineering. In this role, Haileigh was part of the core team delivering the display of Tim Peake’s Soyuz spacecraft, and she curated the large audio-visual display Science on a Sphere which is one of the focal points in the museum’s Exploring Space gallery. She joined National Museums Scotland in May 2017 and is currently responsible for energy, domestic and agricultural collections. In this role she focuses largely on contemporary collecting in relation to energy technology, and provides curatorial support for the exhibition Age of Oil.