Sheldon School, Chippenham then Imperial College London to study for a masters degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (4 years)
I have 4 A levels (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, History) and an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
I used to work at UTC Aerospace in Plymouth during university and during a Year In Industry. While there I worked on missile guidance systems
I work in the control systems group at Daresbury Lab. It is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council
I am employed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, one of the UK’s 7 research councils. We are part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
I'm an engineer living in Liverpool. I help design and build control systems for particle accelerators.
I moved to liverpool 3 years ago to start working at Daresbury Laboratory. This year my girlfriend Miriam moved in with me!
Previously I lived in london for 4 years while I worked towards my degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London.
I also enjoy climbing. I started when I moved to Plymouth for a year in industry. In 2017 I climbed a mountain that nobody else had been to the top of in Pakistan.
I help design and build control systems for particle accelerators. They are used to find out the structure of everything from ancient paintings to cancer tissue.
Particle accelerators are used in many different areas of science and engineering. Some are used to smash particles together to create the conditions that would be found at the earliest part of the universe, others shoot precise amounts of radiation into tumors. I work on two different accelerators, one in Sweden and one in the UK at Daresbury Laboratory.
The European Spalation Source being built in Lund, Sweden will generate very intense beams of neutrons through a process called spalation. One of the most powerful proton accelerators in the world will smash protons into a tungsten block generating Neutrons. These are then sent down vacuum pipes to experimental stations where researchers use them to find out the structure of samples. Neutrons are scattered by samples and then detected by detectors. There are many different detectors at ESS, my job is to provide the infrastructure to control them and give them the time so that data they produce can be timestamped. Timestamping data is critical because it lets us correlate data between different devices, and determine how many neutrons are detected in a given time.
At Daresbury laboratory I’m working on a facility that produces a very short electron beam. At the moment the facility is used by accelerator scienticts who need a beam to test new acceleration ideas and techniques. My job on this machine is to help collect data from various diagnostics that tell us what the accelerator is doing, timestamp it and save it.
My Typical Day: I arrive at the laboratory any time from 0800 to 1030. My days are very varied, but in general I spend about 50% of my time meeting with other scientists and engineers to discuss the problems we are working on and the other 50% of the time trying to solve those problems. That might involve reading material online to learn more about the subject, writing software to get devices to communicate, or writing models of systems in software to better understand them.
I don’t really have a typical day! It varies a lot throughout the year and depending what the problems we are solving are. On Friday I came in at about 9am and had a meeting for an hour with my colleague Adam and some people from ESS in Sweden on a video chat. They wanted to know how hard somthing would be that we had already tried. We told them what we’d done and agreed to colaborate in the future on it.
I spent the rest of the day working on a system that samples analog signals and then streams that data over a network to wherever people want to use it. This involves writing code that gets different devices to talk to each other. I designed a graphical interface to let me view the test system I had developed. I went home at about 6pm
This is the accelerator I work on.
What I'd do with the money
I'd use the money to help build a vibration table we want to demonstrate mechanical design to students
We want to build a small version of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAF1ZS_6sTU
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Professional problem solver
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Enabled scientists to locate the position of beam losses in particle accelerators.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, I was involved in dictionary fight in a French class
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?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Be on time, better short term memor so I don't loose eveything, ability to remember names
Tell us a joke.
What do you call an aligator in a vest? An Investigator