I am an enthusiastic, intelligent, and well qualified PhD student with a wide variety of interests and experience. I am currently in the final year of my PhD, due to complete in December 2015. I have a strong interest in extreme environment materials engineering, and a passion for space exploration and science communication. Following my PhD I am keen to pursue a career associated with the behavior of materials in the hostile environment of space.
EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS
2011 – Present: Combined MSc and PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Leeds
Supervisors: Dr. Andrew Scott and Prof. Rik Brydson.
Title: ‘Atomic Scale Investigation of Neutron and Electron Radiation Damage in Nuclear Graphite’
My PhD involves the investigation of radiation damaged graphite using microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. My post graduate studies and strong physics background have provided an excellent academic base for high-end research. I have gained technical skills in using a variety of computer programs (e.g. Digital Micrograph, Cerius2, and Materials Studio) and laboratory equipment including light and electron microscopes. In-depth literature and peer reviews have further developed critical thinking and a thorough understanding of materials science. I am comfortable with new scientific concepts and confident with handling large volumes of data, using my initiative to develop new ideas and manage my own work, time, and funding allocations.
The taught and research components of the Masters were completed in 2013 and a distinction was awarded. Areas of study for this included nuclear plant design and operations, waste management, energy policy, commercial roll out strategy, and materials engineering. Work was assessed through presentations, debates, report writing, and panel discussions. I have particularly developed science communication skills by clearly explaining concepts with limited time constraints to both specialist and general audiences.
Due to the contentious nature of the nuclear industry, I have become familiar with the detailed policy processes involved with the energy sector. The importance of policy and how it applies to society interests me as I believe it is fundamental to the progression of new ideas.
There have been many opportunities to present research at conferences globally giving me the chance to discuss scientific topics to a high level with fellow researchers, develop and express my opinions, and question others about novel areas of work. To-date, I have attended over 14 international conferences and research meetings, and have presented papers at seven. To attend these conferences I have successfully applied for funding from the IOM3, Armourers & Brasiers, and the IOP and have begun to build a publication list:
• H M Freeman, A N Jones, M B Ward, N Tzelepi, F S Hage, A J Scott, R M D Brydson. On the nature of cracks and voids in nuclear graphite. To be submitted to Carbon October 2015.
• B E Mironov, H M Freeman, A P Brown, F S Hage, A J Scott, A V K Westwood, J P Da Costa, P Weisbecker, R M D Brydson. (2015). Electron irradiation of nuclear graphite studied by transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. Carbon 83, 106–117. doi:10.1016/j.carbon.2014.11.019
• B E Mironov, H M Freeman, R M D Brydson, A V K Westwood and A J Scott (2014). Simulating Neutron Radiation Damage of Graphite by In-situ Electron Irradiation. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 522. 012051
2015 (June – August) Space Studies Programme at the International Space University
A nine week intensive graduate level professional development program which covers all aspects of the space sector including space science, engineering, applications, law and policy, business and management, humanities, and human performance in space. Over 100 participants from a variety of fields and from 30 countries attended, providing an international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary learning experience.
I was the deputy, and then main, project manager for the final ‘Team Project’. An interdisciplinary group of 30 were required to submit a 126 page report, executive summary and 1hr presentation in a three week time frame. In managing this team I have gained experience in time management, efficient delegation based on team members’ expertise, and people management: the structure changed every few days which tested my adaptability skills. Our paper has been accepted to The International Astronautical Congress in October 2015, the proposed roadmap has stirred interest from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the University of Ohio has recruited Masters and PhD students to continue our research.
2010 – 2011: MSc Sustainable and Environmental Technology at the University of Manchester.
This one-year course concentrated on three major issues faced with global development: energy generation systems; sustainability and waste management; and waste water technology. During my studies I gained experience in Life Cycle Assessment and my dissertation investigated the energy efficiency of a variety of buildings and the effect that green roofs have on this.
2007 – 2010: BSc Physics at the University of Manchester.
I developed excellent knowledge of the key concepts involved in astrophysics, meteorology and climate physics, nuclear and particle physics, solid state and quantum physics. My final year dissertation involved the study of stratospheric ozone monitoring instruments.
WORK AND OTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
2008 – Present: STEM outreach and science communication
PI: Dr. Timothy Hunter
I am heavily involved with the University of Leeds’ STEM outreach activities and have been appointed ‘Outreach Officer’ for the Institute of Materials Research. To-date I have led school visits, residential summer schools and open days. I have also established a new week long residential summer school in nuclear energy and have secured all of our funding requirements through sponsorship. I have ensured a framework is in place for this summer school to continue after my time at Leeds, to carry on enthusing young people about nuclear engineering and introduce them to a range of applications of nuclear power. These projects have provided me with the opportunity to develop science communication skills, manage projects and their accounts, and understand the importance of task delegation and time management.
During my time at the University of Manchester I provided mentoring support to new physics undergraduate students and offered advice regarding their work. I am a fellow of the Ogden Trust (a charitable trust promoting the teaching and learning of physics) and worked for 5 weeks in a high school in Bury, Greater Manchester, as a physics teaching assistant. I have also provided home tutoring for physics college students and took part in the Institute of Physics e-mentoring physics programme, which encourages and advises 14-18 year olds about physics.
September 2014 – Present: Research equipment facility coordinator
PI: Prof. Rik Brydson
I am the coordinator for the Leeds EPSRC Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research Equipment Facility (LENNF). I am responsible for the handling of applications and the website, taking record of all expenses incurred by users, and liaising between research staff to ensure users of the facility get the most out of their visit. This work, along with my STEM outreach activities and PhD studies, has taught me how to manage time efficiently and prioritise work load. I am also very comfortable in speaking with a wide range of people and developing professional and sustainable relationships.
Driving – Full clean driving license
Languages – Studied French at GCSE (A*) and attended French evening classes while at university.
Professional affiliations – Active associate member of the Institute of Physics, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and Royal Microscopical Society. I am also a member of CaSE (Campaign for Science and Engineering) and involved with WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) having helped out at their events and written a piece for their website.
Sport – I am a dedicated trail runner, swimmer, road cyclist and dancer. I have been involved with the Manchester Tap Rhythm Project for 6 years, a not-for-profit social enterprise working to raise the profile of rhythm tap dance in the UK.
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