Education2003-2010 De Lisle College, Loughborough; 2010-2014 University of Manchester; 2014- present Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
QualificationsMPhys (Hons) Physics with Theoretical Physics; Currently working towards PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Work HistoryScience: Jodrell Bank; Non-science: IBM, Greggs, a pizza place, a students union, a school (I like to try different things)
Current JobPhD Researcher
University of Manchester
Favourite thing to do in my job: Meeting people! As part of my work I get to meet people from all different backgrounds, from all over the world. Plus, I basically spend my days trying to understand the Universe. That’s pretty awesome.
My Work: I work with computer models of galaxy clusters, the largest objects in the Universe. I use them to study how the Universe has changed over the last 13 billion years. They can also give us clues about the nature of gravity and dark matter.
My Typical Day: A mixture writing bits of code to do my work for me, teaching and learning about other people’s research in talks and seminars.
In my research I’m interested in galaxy clusters, which are structures consisting of hundreds or thousands of galaxies (like our Milky Way) held together. More specifically, I’m interested in how we can use the science we know and understand to make models of these structures, and how our models (like this one) differ from what we see in the sky. This means that my work involves lots of programming, which is what you’ll find me doing day to day.
An important part of research is keeping up to date with the work of other scientists around the world. As well as doing lots of reading, I attend talks from visiting scientists to help me keep on top of the latest developments. I really value these opportunities, as it’s great to learn about the progress being made in all areas of physics – not just astronomy or astrophysics.
I also choose to do a small amount of teaching. I run three tutorials a week, which are small session with around five students where I go over physics questions with them.
What I'd do with the prize money: My friends at the <a href="http://www.jodcast.net/"><strong> Jodcast </strong></a>, which is an astronomy podcast, are planning a live podcast event next year. I’d love to use the money to support that event, and hopefully get some local schools involved with the podcast.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic, reliable and (often) confused
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I’m not sure anything particular inspired me. I enjoyed it, so I carried on doing it.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Maybe once or twice, but nothing major. I didn’t know when to stop asking questions.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I’m not sure, possible a software developer.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I’m not sure I have one! You can generally see what I’m listening to <a href="http://www.last.fm/user/greenelastic"><strong>here</strong></a>.
What's your favourite food?
Mmm maybe cheese toasties. Or cake. Or mashed potato. I’m not sure
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I spent last summer travelling around Europe by train, that was pretty fun.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be less scared of making mistakes, to be able to speak another language and to have a lifetime supply of earl grey tea.
Tell us a joke.
How do you have a great space party? You planet! Ahh that was terrible…