Achievement unlocked: Met two Apollo astronauts today!
National Physical Laboratory for 7 years, IT consultant for 1 year then went back to Uni for PhD
University Lecturer, so I teach students and run a small research group
Currently work at the University of Oxford, Department of Physics
University teacher and planetary science engineering
My Typical Day
Usually a bit of teaching, some time in the lab running experiments, answering lots of emails….
What I'd do with the money
Hmmm, probably buy a low cost 3D printer so we can build another 3D printer.
3D printer would be fun to try rapidly making new parts for our space instruments. Imagine if in the future you could print new spacecraft parts on the way to e.g. Mars if something broke. It would save a lot of mass, and its moving mass into space that takes big rockets so is expensive.
With the printer, we could get schools to suggest mechanical designs for bits of spacecraft and then test them using our launch simulation shaker and space simulation vacuum chambers…. Oh, and make custom lego bricks.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Inquisitive, enthusiastic, odd
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Hmmm, not sure at the moment. Currently listening to Bastille and the odd bit of Kraftwerk (I’m old)
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Watching something I helped build get launched to the Moon from the Kennedy Space Center
What did you want to be after you left school?
Scientist or Engineer
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Occasionally, but you’d have to ask me about it….
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
Helped to build bits of spacecraft that are currently in orbit around the Moon and Mars
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
A geologist or a musician
In the clean room, about to run some experiments in one of our vacuum chambers. About to shake test some parts for a possible cubesat mission. If you want to know what a cubesat is, ask me! The machine in the centre of the room that I’m leaning over is like a giant loud speaker (with a 20 kW amplifier) that we use to simulate the shaking and bumping spacecraft experience during launch. We work with people with lots of different backgrounds in science and engineering. Kerri (planetary geologist) preparing to load a lunar soil sample into one of our infrared spectrometers. Meet the scientists! James and Rohini work on analysing observations of Mars and Saturn.New stickers arrive for our next mission! A spare Mars Curiosity Rover wheel on display at the meeting I’m attending. Apollo 15 astronaut Dave Scott describes collecting a rock on the Moon’s surface.Moon Express commercial Moon lander company’s exhibit.