Piggott School. Simon Langoton School. Bristol University. Oxford University.
5 A*, 5 B GSCEs. 3 A levels – Maths, Futher Maths and Physics. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Masters and a Planetary Physics PhD.
Worked as a gardener, cleaner and a handy man for 2 years before doing my PhD.
Intrested in Enginnering, Science, Space and Sports.
I live in Oxford with my girlfriend. I’m a big fan of sport of any kind really – but play golf, badminton, football and cricket. I’m also keen on board games and I’ve watched a fair amount of Netflix.
I build science instruments for space missions
I help build science instruments for space missions and help interpret the measurements they make. I’ve been part of a team that sent instruments to Mars, the Moon, Asteroid Bennu and I am in the near future hoping to send instruments to the Moon (again) and to a comet!
My Typical Day: I do quite a lot of modelling/programming on a computer. I am also often in the lab taking measurements and testing space instruments.
Normally I get in around 9am, do a quick check that everything is OK in the lab – make sure nothing’s blown up overnight! Then around 10am i’ll head to my office and work on some project for the day – that’s often quite varied, sometimes it’s modelling the Moon on my laptop, or sometimes it’s down in the lab testing a piece of equipment. For example, when I was helping to build part of a recent Mars mission called the InSight lander, I was checking that the instrument we were building would work at the temperatures expected on Mars – so between -70 C and +30 C. But it also had to get to Mars, so I was also checking it would survive the vibration it would experience on the rocket and the cold temperatures of space and the radiation environment of space. I also had to deliver the instrument we were building to CNES (that’s the French space agency – a bit like NASA is in the USA but for France) so they were a lot of trips back and forth to France.
What I'd do with the money
3D print a giant Mars globe to go with my giant Moon globe.
We 3D printed a 1 meter Moon globe to take to outreach events with us. We used real topography data measured by spacecraft that are currently in orbit around the Moon. It was quite a fun exercise to do – in fact, anyone can do it, there are shapefiles online you can just download if you want to make one… I was thinking it would be fun to make an Earth for scale.. how big would that be? Roughly 4 times larger – so 4 meters in diameter… oh that’s getting quite large – it might not fit in my car! – So maybe I’ll make Mars instead.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Can Be Sarcastic
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Landing something on Mars
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
A very good teacher.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wasn't sure.
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?
Chocolate ice cream
What is the most fun thing you've done?
difficult choice between 1 month traverling across Californa or 1 month travellling across India or the two weeks a spent in Peru
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I'd wish for 3 more wishes.....and to play more golf.
Tell us a joke.
I wrote a song about a sausage. It was a banger.