I currently build ground station instruments, BIG telescopes and satellite missions. I have run a company, run observatories and been a field space physicist.
Other than being a Space Physicist/Engineer:
I live in Salisbury with my two children (8 and 4 yrs old) and Australian cat (17 yrs old).
I love the Lord of the Rings films, sword fighting and my Oculus Quest 2.
I can quote every episode of Red Dwarf and I’ve read every Iain M Banks novel.
As well as a scientist and engineer, I have been many things: a Muay Thai Teacher, A professional Girl Scout, A barman, a Labourer, kitchen hand, a maths teacher at University, a radio DJ, a Royal Engineer (Reserve Soldier), an Army Officer, and probably a few other things I’ve forgotten.
Space Physicist and Engineer
1) MPhys in Physics w/ Space Science and Technology @Leicester (Great Place).
2) PhD in Svalbard Aurora and Instrumentation @Soton (&UCL &Svalbard &Uppsala &Oulu)
3) 1/2 a year in Svalbard and 2 more years in Norway, Sweden and Finland doing Arctic ground based space science.
3) Switched to running Mopra, a radio telescope observatory in the Outback of Australia (2 yrs)
4) Hardware/Software Engineer (Instrumentation!) @ Diamond Light Source
5) Hardware/Software Engineer @ MAST maintaining a Fusion reactor
6) 8 yrs running Applied Physics Ltd – a systems engineer (Instrumentation!) in Defence and Space sectors.
7) 2+ yrs @ RAL again on big radio telescopes (LOFAR), quantum communication satellite missions (QKD), and other projects.
My Typical Day: I work from home mostly! Its magic.
What I'd do with the money
I don’t want any money.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, Relentless, Interesting
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I was the first person to see red-shifted dayside proton aurora.
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?
All the time. I come from an Alcoholic father and troubled Mum... School was not, on average, a positive influence in my life.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Well, I sometimes wonder what might have been had I not turned down a place at Cardiff Medical School, or chose to teach English in Tokyo or fly Apaches for the Army.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Too many... but Red hot Chilli Peppers are good.
What's your favourite food?
Bacon Sandwich... No, Spagetti Bolognaise!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Working on Svalbard? Running a Telescope in Oz? Learning to Fly? Graduating from Sandhurst? No, its having children: my little boy(3) and girl(8) are the thing that consistently bring most joy into my life.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Invent Rick's Portal gun? Captain the Serenity? Live as a superhuman spirit that connects all humanity, brings real human empathy and works toward global peace, wealth redisdistribution, a stabilised enviroment and space colonisation... if thats too complicated I'd settle for a pretty space elevator.
Tell us a joke.
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says, "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence; then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, "OK, now what?"