Had a good time doing this thing, thanks all
Millburn Academy, Inverness, then University of Glasgow, Glasgow.
I’ve got some Highers (Scottish equivalent of A-levels) And a degree in Phyiscs
PhD in Physics
University of Glasgow
Favourite thing to do in my job: Finding a good and interesting distraction, such as imascientist!
Running late, but looking great.
My Typical Day
Coffee first, then into the lab, a cheese and ham baguette for lunch, followed by more time in lab. The day ends with some computer games, or board games.
The good thing about being a scientist, or one of the good things, is that there is that a day is quite hard to predict. Typical days don’t happen that often! Sometimes I have a lot of teaching to do, which is good fun as the students always bring something different to the work. But I can go for months without teaching at all. These times I’m I like to be in battle mode against a difficult experiment, trying my upmost to get some delicate result which relies on many factors working perfectly. Getting there takes a lot of time and effort. Whether it’s worth that effort is a question I debate with myself, and sometimes it’s not. An experiment maybe just doesn’t work – you were wrong about it, and you’ve spend months and found out you’re an idiot! Being able to fail makes a good scientist – it gives you an open mind, filled with doubt, but some solid foundations with which to work. Luckily, a PhD is three and a half years and I’ve managed to get a lot of things wrong.
Sometimes, some glorious times, things do go right! In which case, publishing your results is the reward – but this is also time consuming. It can take months of tedious edits to write 6 pages describing your work. Coffee helps.
Having lunch is also an important ritual for me as it’s a time I get to share with other researchers and find out what they are up to. Researchers tend to be interesting people – today we talked about Numbers Stations, which are creepy shortwave radio stations used to send coded messages to spies.
What I'd do with the prize money
A balloon popping, laser robot
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
modest, handsome, inaccurate.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I’ve built a 3D multimodal microscope. It was on display during a trade show in San Francisco!
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My teachers, my dad, Richard Feynman
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, I was in a fight! I didn’t win.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I once jumped over a man riding a unicycle
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
More muscular, more of a beard, being able to play the violin.
Tell us a joke.
What’s the toughest thing about telling a punchline timing.