Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College – 2001-2006, Worcester Sixth Form College 2006-2008, University of Bath 2009-2012
A/AS-Levels: Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, French. Degree: BSc (Hons) Physics
QinetiQ Malvern, Bristol, Boscombe Down.
Avionics and Mission Systems Engineer: Sensors
Favourite thing to do in my job: I enjoy going to schools and conducting experiments that the kids might not normally do within the curriculum. I have also delivered a few presentations about scientific topics which I don’t know anything about so that I’m continually learning too!
I work on the protection of military aircraft using lasers!
I work as an Avionics Engineer on military aircraft. At the moment I’m working on the Merlin helicopter to ensure it is able to defend itself from enemy attack during combat. At my company we test aircraft which have been modified to make sure they’re safe to fly and won’t suddenly fall out of the sky. We make recommendations to the Ministry of Defence to let them know about the major risks and how we could go about solving any problems to prevent accidents happening.
My Typical Day
My days are a little variable to have a typical day…
My role includes going from being on board a military helicopter to being at my desk writing about it. I can get involved with any point along the process depending on when I join the project, so we could be in the ideas stage, deciding how we can solve the customer’s problem, or we could be in the exciting bit, which is actually flying and testing the aircraft; it’s pretty variable.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would spend it on materials to run events at any schools that will have me.
I would spend all of the money on resources to create experiments or activities which I could then take to schools. I would build up a repository ranging from straws and cotton wool to run an egg dropping exercise to materials suitable for trying to create aircraft or catapults! I would keep some money aside for materials which I have to get closer to the time and haven’t been able to do yet. For example I’ve been waiting to get my hands on some frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice, so that I can temporarily recreate the tail of a comet, which I think is pretty cool (excuse the pun).
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Joker, logical, ambitious.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Delivered a couple of speeches, one about comets and one about the Moon (I love Space!) to an audience without any slides on PowerPoint. Pretty scary but a good sense of achievement after, and I think everyone learnt something new.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, but we could usually bribe our way out of detentions using Mars bars (don’t tell your teachers I said that).
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Either a psychotherapist, a dog trainer, or a baker
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I have guilty pleasures such as Taylor Swift, ranging through to icelandic bands like Sigur Ros.
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I like anything exhilerating (to an extent anyway…). Event stuff like going on rollercoasters at Alton Towers or going down massive water slides. I also managed to swim with dolphins this year while I was away with work, which was awesome.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish I’d tried harder at university. I wish I could win loads of money so I could: a) have loads of dogs and keep them in my awesome house with their own rooms, b) fund people to come and teach me new stuff about Physics in an interesting way, c) go and see more of the world. Third wish…That I could have some sort of amazing super power like flying.
Tell us a joke.
There were two sausages in a pan. One said to the other, “Jeez, it’s hot in here.” The other replied, “Oh my gosh, a talking sausage!”