Introduction I am a highly qualified and motivated physicist with an excellent academic record, strong interpersonal and communication skills and an eye for detail and am currently employed at the world's leading producer of thermal sensor calibration sources and battery systems for satellites.
2013-present Applied Physicist
ABSL Space Products (EnerSys) Ltd, Culham Science Centre, Oxfordshire
Principle skills: calibration techniques, data analysis, mathematical modelling (MATLAB), technical documentation, managing client expectations, communicating scientific and technical information to non-experts.
This role has comprised work on several projects, all of them involving black-body thermal calibration sources for space-borne infrared and microwave radiometers. These systems are vital to enable the instruments to remain accurate throughout the lifetime of their missions, which are mostly for the purpose of monitoring weather, land use, atmospheric and oceanic composition and climate change.
The work is highly challenging both from a technical point of view and with regard to the complexity of the space industry, with a client chain extending up to the European Space Agency. Clear communication with other project members both within ABSL and in other organizations such as collaborative partners, customer companies and our own contractors and suppliers, who may have very different areas of expertise, is vital to the success of projects. Understanding the complexities of international standards and conventions of space hardware is as important as understanding precision equipment and the software to operate it.
The growth of a vertically aligned carbon nanotube coating on aluminium substrates and its partial space qualification for [Earth orbit] applications, Optics Express (in preparation).
2011-2013 Imaging Design Engineer
ASML, Veldhoven, Netherlands
Principle skills: machine integration and testing, mathematical modelling (MATLAB), data analysis, technical documentation.
In this position I played a number of roles in the testing, qualification and integration of the interferometry sensors used in a new line of photolithography systems. In addition I undertook integration work on various other systems related to these machines and their light sources and wrote technical documentation for use in integration and testing.
Work on the sensors involved analysis of data taken at customer sites for diagnostic purposes, computational modelling to understand the performance of the sensor and theoretical investigations into the future behaviour of the sensor once in use in a working system.
This work involved performing as part of a large team while at the same time directing my own analysis and research.
2009-2011 Operational Research Analyst
Export Credits Guarantee Department, London
Principle skills: project analysis, project management, database testing, data analysis and presentation.
Operational research involves a wide variety of analysis techniques, from dataflow studies to programming for spreadsheets and databases. The work I undertook at ECGD included managing a data cleanse project, coordinating technical aspects of a programme to replace ad-hoc user-developed software with centralised systems and extensive testing of the department’s new data warehouse.
2006-2009 Private tutor
K & C Tutors (London), Alpha Tutors (online)
Principle skills: speaking and listening, explaining, time-keeping.
Private tutor in mathematics, physics and general primary and secondary science, tutoring students ranging in age from primary school to second-year undergraduates. I worked extensively as a tutor to support myself during the latter stages of my MPhil, which as a consequence I completed as a part-time student.
2004-2008 MPhil (Particle Physics)
University College London
Title: ‘A study of the ATLAS detector’s sensitivity to quark compositeness’.
Supervisor: Prof. Jonathan Butterworth
Work was undertaken at the CERN laboratory near Geneva and at UCL. Extensive OO and procedural programming was performed, along with some scripting, for purposes of event generation and data analysis.
1999-2003 MSci, Theoretical Physics (Second-class honours, upper division)
University College London
Subjects studied include ordinary and partial differential equations, matrix methods, analytical mechanics, thermodynamics, general relativity, cosmology, relativistic quantum mechanics, nuclear and particle physics.
Final-year project: 'Searching for heavy quarks at HERA with ZEUS.'
1997-1999 A-levels: Physics (A), Mathematics (B), English Literature (B),
General Studies (A) plus S-level English Literature.
Carisbrooke High School, Newport, Isle of Wight
Plus 10 GCSEs at grade A*-B (1997, 2xA Double Science award taken 1996)
Physics/mathematics: PDEs, matrix methods, dynamical systems, quantum mechanics, general relativity and cosmology, lasers/optics, Monte Carlo technique, statistics (correlation, χ2-fitting etc).
Programming: C, C++, FORTRAN, MATLAB, VBA, SQL, Python, UNIX shell scripting.
Operating systems: UNIX/Linux, Windows (NT/XP family, Windows 7).
Applications: Microsoft Office, SQL Server; Oracle, ROOT (physics analysis package), LaTeX.
Work duties and other skills
While employed at ABSL Space Products I’ve played a part in four projects, all involving the production of so-called blackbody calibration sources, which are vital components of infrared and microwave detectors used on scientific satellites for climate monitoring purposes. This work typically involves a very complex ‘customer chain’, with commercial companies supplying parts and services to other companies in different countries in very large collaborative projects ultimately sponsored by ESA. Specific duties undertaken include:
· studying data taken from hardware items kept at vacuum and cycled between high and low temperatures in order to qualify and calibrate them for use in space;
· writing technical documentation (reports, technical notes and papers, procedures);
· liaising with representatives from customer companies based in various countries, relaying technical results to them and coordinating test plans;
· internal reporting to project management and ensuring work meets international space industry standards through collaboration with product assurance personnel;
· writing software to model, analyse, process and present various kinds of technical data.
My time at ASML has given me an introduction to working in the highly technical commercial environment of a world-leading development and manufacturing firm. The work has been widely varied, including:
· analysis work on data sent back to ASML from customers (such as Intel, Toshiba and Samsung) from EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography machines already in use in wafer production;
· investigation into the principal sources of noise in lithography machines both currently in use and undergoing qualification, using MATLAB modelling code;
· creation of a detailed test programme intended to fully qualify the sensors in the environment of a working machine;
· participation in a round-the-clock programme to integrate several new machines prior to their shipment to customers;
· writing technical specifications for new pieces of test software;
· communicating business requirements with personnel from many other divisions of the firm.
My work as an operational research analyst in ECGD exposed me to a wide variety of challenging situations, requiring the development and application of an equally varied set of problem-solving skills. Roles I performed here included:
· analysis of ad-hoc software items in use in the Department with a view to replacing them with central IT services;
· managing a data-cleanse project;
· developing robust spreadsheets for financial and administrative purposes;
· testing data integrity for a new data warehouse then under construction, which involved extensive use of VBA and SQL.
An extensive formal education in theoretical and experimental physics has necessitated the development of keen analytical skills in solving both abstract and practical problems, while experience in working as a member of a collaboration has also fostered an aptitude for teamwork. On numerous occasions during my MPhil I presented results to large expert audiences, both in the university and the laboratory.
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