University of Oxford
GCSEs, A-levels, then MPhys (4 year physics degree) and a DPhil (PhD)
Associate Professor (Reader)
University of Warwick
I'm a physicist, but work in applied physics - looking at how to use sound waves to keep things safe.
I’m a physicist! I studied at Oxford University, spent some time doing research at the Universities of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and Florida in the USA, and then came home to the University of Warwick to become a lecturer. I’ve played with the worlds largest magnets, and studied things from as small as a tiny speck of superconducting material, up to long lengths of railway track.
I live in Coventry with my husband and our one-year-old daughter, plus many cuddly toy dogs (mostly Andrex puppies). I love juggling and sewing, and watch a lot of cartoons. I have a different Spongebob t-shirt for (almost) every lecture I give.
I invent new ways of using sound to make the world a safer place. We can send sound waves along a railway track, and if there are cracks the sound travels differently.
My Typical Day: When life is more normal, I drop my daughter off at the nursery at about 9am, and then head over to the university. I spend some of my time teaching physics, and some of my time in the lab or talking with my students about what they're working on. I write papers to tell other researchers about what we're doing. I finish at about 5pm so I can get to nursery before it closes! At the moment things are a bit different, so I spend my morning looking after our daughter and playing in the garden, doing some colouring, or baking biscuits. Then in the afternoon I'm doing as much work as I can :).
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic short physicist!
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I got a fellowship that everyone said was for people much more experienced than I was.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
A few enthusiastic teachers, and the lecturer who gave me a chance to do a PhD.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Physics! Followed closely by graphic design.
What did you want to be after you left school?
It varied. I wanted to be an artist, then an astronaut, then when I ended up too short it was an architect, then I left the a-jobs and decided to try science instead. If I couldn't go to space, I could at least learn about it!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, I was too busy living in a world of my own.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Something creative. I say that - but it would probably be teaching!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
The Last Dance
What's your favourite food?
Either chocolate, or baked potatoes with cheese.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
We had our very own bouncy castle at our wedding!