What is your qualifying background?
After finishing an MPhys degree in ‘Physics with Astrophysics’ at the University of Kent in the UK, I went on to do a PhD and 18 month post-doctoral research position in Experimental Particle Physics with the University of Sussex. I was predominantly based at the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. My research involved analysing large amounts of particle collision data, collected by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in search of new elementary particles.
In January 2020, I joined the Global Coast department at Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht as a Scientist in the project ‘Digital Earth’ in order to use my data analysis skills in a field that would be more immediately impactful to the welfare of the Earth.
How would you describe your working daily routine?
Working solely with data means my typical work day consists of being at my laptop, and since March 2020 this has meant Home Office.
The work I do involves writing computer programs to process and analyse fast-growing, multi-parameter data through employing existing Data Science methods, adapting new algorithms and developing digital workflows tailored to specific scientific needs.
And of course there are many virtual Zoom meetings to attend with either my department or project colleagues.
What has been your biggest success so far?
My biggest personal and academic success has got to be handing in my PhD thesis and successfully defending it during a viva. Having started a university foundation course as a mature student at the age of 27, it was the culmination of nearly 9 years hard work, proving to myself that it had been the right decision to leave my previous standard office job all those years ago in pursuit of following a dream.
Do you have a big goal?
I have recently started learning to sail and would one day like to sail across the Atlantic Ocean.
Do you have any personal distinctive mark?
Having grown up by the coast in the UK, I will never turn down the opportunity to jump into the sea, even in winter (although I have now learnt that UK winters are far milder than Hamburg winters!)