Date of Birth 21st October 1977
Place of Birth Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Qualification B.Sc (Hons) Chemical Physics 2:1 06/99 University Of Edinburgh
Ph.D Chemistry Class 03/04 University Of Edinburgh
Ph.D Title Studies of Transition Metal Carbonyl Clusters using Laser Desorption Ionisation and Electrospray Ionisation Mass Spectrometry
In the past eight years I have acquired a great deal of experience in instrument design and development and software development for data analysis, a reflection of the variety of different roles I have fulfilled during my employment. I consider myself to be diligent, organised and self-motivated following my participation in a variety of projects where I have had to work on my own and follow my own initiative to meet objectives and solve different problems, and where I have contributed to team efforts where others are reliant on me to provide my contribution to project milestones on time and to a high standard of quality. My career has demonstrated my ability to acquire complex technical skills within an applied project environment, including the use of self-taught computer-aided design (CAD) skills and engineering knowledge to take the role as principal design engineer on the Concentric Spectrometer (CompAQS) demonstrator for the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) and the high profile follow-on project CityScan. In addition I have also learned a number of different computer programs and languages for scientific data analysis and user interfaces. As is the nature with scientific research, my work has often involved a large proportion of problem solving, such as devising experiment plans to answer particular scientific questions relevant to my research. This has extended into engineering considerations, drafting mechanical solutions for instrument components and systems that not only satisfy the objectives of the instrument, but also incorporate features that aid in the operation and maintenance of the instrument as a whole. Furthermore my work has required good communication skills to inform colleagues, PI’s and funding agencies of current progress and met objectives through correspondence, small interstitial reports and formal end of project reports, as well as conveying ideas to colleagues and organising other teams to ensure objectives and deadlines are met. As an aside I have also created many illustrations and graphics for publication in scientific papers, reports, posters, and presentations to document and promote various aspects of my work, as well as designing group and instrument logos.
► Versatile systems engineer with varied instrument design and development experience.
► Strong communicator within a technical environment.
► Comfortable working within a group or individually – self-motivated, diligent and good organisational skills.
► Experience in mechanical design for scientific instrumentation. This includes the use of CAD software Siemens UGS NX6 for creation of 3D models and schematics for construction (have also participated in an official 2 day training program in February 2011).
► Highly computer literate.
► Skilled in the creation of computer programs using Interactive Data Language (IDL), C++ and National Instruments LabVIEW software.
► Extensive experience in the production of technical reports, illustration, presentations, posters and calculations using Microsoft Office and other packages.
Date 01/11/2010 – present
Appointment Satellite Data Validation Scientist – (A)ATSR
Location University Of Leicester, Space Research Centre
I joined the AATSR research team to act as co-validation scientist with responsibilities to process data from the AATSR instrument to generate sea surface temperature maps, and validate these measurements against those made from ground based instrumentation. The first task in this role was to investigate the data trend immediately following the planned Envisat Mission Extension orbit change to ensure that the data retrievals were not adversely affected. Since then I have expanded my duties to further assist the AATSR research performed at UoL by becoming involved in tasks required for project deliverables. These have included compiling a database of aerosol measurements as well as a series of validation databases comparing land surface temperature values from AATSR and other satellite instruments with in-situ data, investigating new procedures for the detection of surface ice on sea and land, and comparing data from two different satellite instruments for cross calibration and statistical analysis of the robustness of the measurements made by each instrument.
Date 01/05/2007 – 31/10/2010
Appointment Lead Project Engineer/Scientist - Compact Air Quality Spectrometer/ CityScan
Location University Of Leicester, Space Research Centre
This position was on one of the first projects to be funded by the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation, with the goal of developing a concept demonstrator of a high specification imaging spectrometer, designed by Surrey Satellite Systems Ltd, intended for deployment on future satellite based atmospheric monitoring missions. The initial role was to look at detector systems for the instrument; however I rapidly took on the responsibility of design engineer for the instrument, designing the bespoke components and sourcing the optical hardware, as well as fulfilling the contractual obligations of devising the scientific requirements of the instrument. A fully working spectrometer, the first of its kind, was built within the contract time of 18 months and met the overwhelming majority of the target scientific requirements, leading to a first author publication detailing the instrument and its characterisation (C. Whyte et al.: Assessment of the performance of a compact concentric spectrometer system, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2, 789–800, 2009). Following this I was retained as the principal design engineer to redesign the instrument and push it forwards from the demonstrator system. During this time the PI instigated a commercial spin-off opportunity of the technology as the ground based CityScan pollution radar, and my duties were expanded to providing a fully detailed working conceptual design of the system to aid in further funding proposals. After kick-off I was given the responsibility to design a quasi-commercial iteration of the hardware while liaising with internal engineers to provide me with detailed technical support during the process. I also collaborated with the manufacturing company Magna Parva who were employed to design the external weather-proof housing. By the conclusion of the contract in November 2010 I had successfully designed and saw manufactured all but the instrument housing of the CityScan system.
Date 01/09/2003 - 31/10/2006
Appointment Post Doctorate Research Associate – Hadamard Mass Spectrometer
Location University Of Leicester, Atmospheric Chemistry Group
The aim of this project was to build a novel high sensitivity mass spectrometer system using a relatively new technique, known as Hadamard Transformation, for the measurement of trace levels of atmospheric species, specifically volatile organic compounds. My role was to design and oversee construction of the instrument front-end, to develop comprehensive mathematical simulations of the transformation process in C++, and model the ion behaviour using SIMION. The mathematical routines were subsequently adapted into an instrument control program to perform data retrieval using National Instruments LabVIEW software to provide the control interface.
I have a great deal of interest in computer art and design and generally being creative. I enjoy cooking and dining, and try to temper this with keeping fit; including running and martial arts. In my spare time I enjoy being sociable with my friends and on the rare occasions where I get any time to myself I enjoy reading and indulging my oldest hobby of computer gaming.
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