The Long Eaton School (1996 – 2003), Nottingham Trent University (2003 – 2006), Loughborough University (2010 – 2015)
Phd – Physics (Loughborough University) BSc – Physics with Astrophysics (Nottingham Trent University) A levels – Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry (The Long Eaton School)
Lecturer in Astrophysics (University of Lincoln) 09/2017 – present. Technical Tutor in physics and astronomy (Loughborough University) 10/2007 – 08/2017. Car Mechanic (JNC racing) 2004 – 2007
Lecturer in Astrophysics. This involves teaching astrophysics at university, conducting my own research on Saturn’s rings and other admin duties within the department.
University of Lincoln
As a lecturer in astrophysics I teach astrophysics to students studying physics at the University of Lincoln. I also do my own research which uses computer models to simulate Saturn’s rings and compare to observations by the recently deceased Cassini spacecraft.
My work as a lecturer varies quite a lot depending on the time of the year. During term time I will spend most my time giving lectures on astrophysics, setting and marking assignments and supervising students in their final year undergoing a project related to my own research. So this might include a project to create computer models to simulate Saturn’s rings or newly found exoplanets.
Out of term time I would either spend my time preparing my teaching for next year or doing research. So for me research includes creating computer programs to simulate Saturn’s rings and other planetary rings. Once the I have the results from the models I then spend a considerable amount of time writing papers to be published.
My Typical Day
There is no such thing as a typical day for me but it might include preparing and delivering lectures or doing some computer programming
Typical day is quite variable but it might include a couple of hours delivering lectures then spending the rest of the time doing research. This would be writing papers to publish or planning new computer programs to write to explore new processes in planetary rings.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, determined, focused
What's the best part of your current job?
Descovering new things and being the only person in the world to know something first.
What don't you like about your current job?
Writing up the results of scientific research to publish. The fun part is doing the research, the writing not so much.
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
Best would have been using the 2.5m aperture NOT telescope on the Canary Islands
What or who inspired you to follow this career?
No single person inspired me to become a scientist. I ended being a scientist due to my need to understand how the world works. Even from being very small I would always take toys apart to find out how they worked. It was this desire that drove me to become a scientist. My interest in the stars and planets then drove me to study astrophysics which led to my career in space science.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be in the same career as you?
Follow what ever interests you. All scientists end up in the field of work due to following their own curiosity and interests. Research is a job that you can only really do if you are truly excited by it. Aside from that a career in astrophysics like mine requires good understanding of mathematics and should be the core of any subjects you take in school.
What do you see as your next step in your career?
I am still at a very early point in my academic career so my next step is become established and build a group of other fellow researchers all working in my area.
What other sorts of jobs can you do with your qualifications?
Qualifications in physics can open up a very broad range of careers. You can end up doing computer programming and go into finance roles just to mention a couple.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Favourite subjects were science, geography and PE. If geography covered more about earthquakes and volcanoes at A level I would have ended up as a geologist instead of an astrophysicist.
What did you want to be after you left school?
While I was at school I wanted to be a pilot. This is also something I would still like to do as a hobby but it didnt really get very far.
Categorise your work in 3 words
Planets, Saturn and gravity
I write computer programs to model rings around planets like Saturn. The Cassini spacecraft was in orbit around Saturn and allowed detailed images to be sent back to Earth. This then makes Saturn’s rings my laboratory.
As well as giving lectures to the students at the university I work at I also visit schools and colleges to show the kind of research I do.