Secondary school: Fraserburgh Academy. University: University of Glasgow. PhD: Universiity of Strathclyde
Standard grades (S3-S4): English, Maths, German, History, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, R.E. Highers(S5): Maths , English, Chemistry, Physics, German. Advanced Highers (S6): Physics, Chemistry and Higher Biology
Research associate at University of Glasgow (2017-present). Senior Engineering Project Manager at Vector Photonics Ltd (September 2020-December 2020)
I am a researcher at the University of Glasgow, working on a new type of laser.
I live in Glasgow with my fiance, step-daughter, and our puppy Larry. I love a true crime documentary, and detective dramas. I also like chilling in my garden, and am a bit obsessed with my plants! Currently learning to play badminton – but I’m rubbish! My pronouns are she/her.
I make tiny lasers that are smaller than a grain of salt. These can be used to power super fast internet in the future, and in 3D printers..
I am a researcher at the University of Glasgow. Before I worked here I did a PhD in Physics at the University of Strathclyde where I worked with light emitting diodes to try to find a new, faster and better way to run the internet. During my PhD I did a lot of experiments in the lab, and got some good results. I got to work with lots of different scientists from all over the world, and was lucky enough to travel to lots of conferences worldwide to talk about my work to other researchers. I made a lot of friends during my PhD, who I’m still friends with today:)
Now I work at the University of Glasgow where I research a new type of laser. These lasers are very bright and can be used for lots of applications including communications, 3D printing, and self-driving cars. I work as part of a research group, which is led by a Professor, and has 10 people in it, most of these are PhD students. I am in charge of making these lasers in our research group. I also help mentor the PhD students, and help them plan their own experiments.
My Typical Day: I get to the university at 8am, and do experiments in a big lab called a cleanroom this is where I make my lasers. After lunch I talk to my students and the team I work with to plan more experiments, or make presentations to explain what I've found out.
8am Arrive at the cleanroom, and put on my suit. This protects my tiny lasers I make here from any dirt or particles I might have on me from being outside. Because the lasers are so small, any dust can get in the way of making them so the lab is kept extremely clean.
8:15-11am I work on making my lasers. The cleanroom has lots of machines I use to make my lasers, it can take 8 weeks to make one from start to finish – so it is a long process and I need to be careful to do things as neatly as possible. Today I am using acid to etch patterns into my laser material to make the laser emit light.
11am – Because of COVID-19, the amount of time we can spend in the lab is limited. I have booked 3 hours today so my time is up! I will continue making the lasers tomorrow.
12pm – I eat lunch and go for a walk in the park. I meet my friends there, because it’s safer outside during the pandemic.
1pm – I organise data from my experiments in the lab, and put it all together to discuss with my team.
1:30 – I attend a talk from someone who works in another part of engineering at the university. They are talking about results of an experiment they have been doing. It’s great to be part of a community and see what other people in the department are doing!
2pm – We have a team meeting on zoom. Everyone in the team discusses the work they have done in the lab this week and we help each other with any problems people are having. We also plan our experiments for the next week.
4pm – I am organising a conference this month, so I send some emails to the people who will give talks at it. I also send emails to the PhD students I am working with to make sure they are ok, and ask if they need any help with their experiments.
5pm – I usually finish for the day around 5pm:) Then I’m off to play badminton tonight!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
plant-loving laser researcher
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Presenting my results at an international conference in Washington DC.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My Physics teacher at school.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Paddleboarding in Seville
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Become a professor at University. Be happy in life. Live somewhere sunny, with a house with a swimming pool.
Tell us a joke.
Q: Why can’t you trust an atom? A: They make up everything.