– Hodgson High School
– Blackpool Sixth Form
– The University of York
Maths – A*
Physics – A*
Chemistry – A*
History – A*
English Language – A*
IT – A*A
English Literature – A
Geography – A
Biology – A
R.E. – A
Graphic Design – A
French – B
Chemistry – A
Maths – A
Further Maths – B
Physics – A
Physics with Astrophysics – 2:1
Science Communicator – Cambridge Science Centre
PhD Student at the University of York
The University of York
I’m a PhD student and science communicator based in York. I’ve written several books and often put on talks about physics.
I live and work in York
I spent most of my time playing video games or boardgames and baking.
I’ve spent the last 6 years working to let people know all about physics, writing books, making videos, doing talks and shows. I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to do it.
I work making a tiny thermometer that can be used when designing electronics for phones and computers.
I work with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) it’s basically a very small lever that gently brushes over the surface of an object and can show very small things down to the size of an atom.
My job is to make it so that the machine is also able to work as a thermometer and measure the temperature.
This is very important for future technology. As phones and computers get smaller and smaller we need to make the components that make them up smaller too. We all know that electronics can get hot and if it get’s too bad they can stop working all together.
My machine will make it possible to properly test the next generation of tech. Testing where and why they get hot so we can keep making things smaller and smaller.
Within my own research i’m already using it to look at computer memory, wires and even the fridges of the future.
My Typical Day:
As I end up doing lots of different things I don’t have a typical day. I can spend time in my office working on models, in the lab or at other places working with others.
In a PhD there is no ‘typical day’ sometimes I can spend weeks working on simulation code in the office. Other times I will spend weeks in the lab working on my instrument and taking measurements. But I also need to do a lot of designing and building new parts which can take me all over the place.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would use it to get more equipment and resources including Virtual Reality Software for the department to help talk about my research to others.
Whilst the university has a good physics team I want to be able to get equipment and demonstrations to properly show off my work and the work of those I collaborate with.
There’s lot of demonstration that can be done to help explain my area of physics known as condensed matter. Using things like magnet liquids, multilayered materials and electronics there’s a lot that could be done.
One of the more exciting things I want to explore is with using Virtual Reality to let people be able to see and play with structures on the atomic scale. So I’d look at how the money might be able to be put towards that.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, Excitable, Jovial
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Inspired is a very strong word.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn't know (and still don't)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, I only ever had one detention and got 100% attendance.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I don't really listen to music
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Canoeing up the Norwegian Fjords
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Tell us a joke.
A freind used to attack me with bird puns but I soon learnt Toucan play at that game.