A proactive and focussed engineer who relishes a challenge, and is a persistent and creative problem solver. Self-motivated but also a team player, works well under pressure, and can adapt quickly and easily when faced with new projects. With a first class degree in Physics, is currently in the final stage of doctoral research focusing on the benefits of using ultrasonics for penetration devices for interplanetary landers/ rovers.
|2013 – 2017||
Ph.D. Researcher – Ultrasonic penetration tools for low gravity environments
University of GlasgowHigh powered ultrasonic vibration has shown promise in the field of drilling and penetration. My work involved investigating how direct use of ultrasonics can impact penetration through granular material. It was shown to both decrease the required overhead mass (thereby requiring a smaller machine), as well as a decrease the required power (reducing the power consumption) over conventional penetration techniques.
|2007 - 2012||
Masters in Physics – MPhys First Class Honours
University of St. Andrews
Awarded Dean’s list for three years.Modules included: Organic and Biological Chemistry, Astronomy, and Electronics.
|2000 - 2007||
Latymer Upper School, London
A Levels: Physics (A), Maths (A), Chemistry (A). Distinguished results.AS Levels: Design Technology (A)
|2017 – Present||
Research Assistant – University of GlasgowWorking on the BADGER drill: a Horizon 2020 project developed to provide autonomous navigation of a sub-surface drill for the construction of stable bores and pipelines. Main duties include leading the design, manufacture, and testing of the drill head for the BADGER device, as well as researching the potential use of an ultrasonic auger to reduce torque requirements.
|2013 – 2017||
Graduate Teaching Assistant – University of GlasgowDemonstrator for university courses: Dynamics, Materials, Aerospace Design, Engineering Skills, A5erospace Systems, Engineering Computing.
|2012 - 2013||
Researcher – Pioneer ProductionsResearched and developed the background science for new TV documentaries. Contacted and developed working relationships with experts in relevant fields for filmed interviews. Organised filming locations and managed on-site logistics. Also developed scientific demonstrations for use within programs to help illustrate specific principles.
Internship – University of CambridgeInternship at the Centre of Music and Science. Developed code for musical perception experiments, as well as assisting in locating and organising volunteers for scientific trials.
|2007 - 2011||
Runner – Pioneer ProductionsManned the front desk during working hours, directing phone calls and visitors to the necessary people. Performed IT services throughout the building. During filming, organised actors or experts and answered to the director in charge.
Funding and Awards
|Institute of Physics||Funding to attend AIAA Space 2014 conference||£250|
|Royal Astronomical Society||Funding to attend AIAA Space 2014 conference||£500|
|Royal Aeronautical Society||Funding to attend AIAA Space 2015 conference||£500|
|Royal Aeronautical Society||Funding to attend ASCE Earth & Space conference 2016||£300|
|Institute of Mechanical Engineers||Funding to attend ASCE Earth & Space conference 2016||£1,000|
|IPPW-12||Student scholarship to attend the 12th International Planetary Probe Workshop. Awarded 2nd place for Best Student Paper.||£698.74|
|IPPW-13||Student scholarship to attend the 13th International Planetary Probe Workshop. Awarded 1st place for Best Student Poster.||
|IPPW-14||Student scholarship to attend the 14th International Planetary Probe Workshop. Awarded 3rd place for Best Student Paper.||€601.08|
|University of Glasgow||MacRobertson scholarship – Awarded to enable two months research at the Surrey Space Centre.||£1,287.27|
|ESA||Spin Your Thesis campaign – Funding given to four student teams to conduct research at ESA’s Large Diameter Centrifuge at the ESTEC facilities.||€3,000|
|EPSRC||Ph.D. funding fully supported by a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.|
D. Firstbrook, K. Worrall, R. Timoney, F. Suñol, Y. Gao, and P. Harkness
“An Experimental Study of Ultrasonic Vibration and the Penetration of Granular Material”
Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 473(2198), 1–16
D. Firstbrook, K. Worrall, R. Timoney, P. Harkness, F. Suñol, and Y. Gao
“Ultrasonically Assisted Penetration Through Granular Materials”13th International Planetary Probe Workshop, Laurel, Maryland, USA.
D. Firstbrook, K. Worrall, P. Doherty, R. Timoney, P. Harkness, F. Suñol, and Y. Gao
“Ultrasonic Penetration of Granular Materials in Varying Gravity”ASCE Earth & Space Conference 2016, Orlando, Florida, USA.
D. Firstbrook, P. Harkness, and Y. Gao
“Power Optimization for an Ultrasonic Penetrator in Granular Materials”AIAA Space 2015 Conference, Pasadena, California, USA.
D. Firstbrook, P. Doherty, R. Timoney, P. Harkness, and F. Suñol
“Preparations for Variable-Gravity Regolith Penetration with an Ultrasonically-Active Probe”12th International Planetary Probe Workshop, Cologne, Germany.
D. Firstbrook, P. Harkness, and Y. Gao
“High-Powered Ultrasonic Penetrators in Granular Material”AIAA Space 2014 Conference, San Diego, California, USA.
Microsoft office, SolidWorks, MATLAB, Abaqus, LaTex, Mathematica, MEScope.
Interests and Additional Information
Avid photographer, and have been published in both books and internet pages. Loves building things, everything from my own PC to a wooden canoe. Accomplished on the guitar and saxophone, less so on the keyboard. Player for the University Squash Team. Previously captain for a university football team. Holds full, clean U.K. driver’s license.
References available upon request.
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