EducationI went to primary school in my local village and then went to The Queen's School in Chester for secondary school and sixth form. For university, I studied Natural Sciences at Durham for 4 years and now I am studying for a PhD with the University of Warwick.
QualificationsGCSEs: 10 A*s in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, English Literature, English Language, French, History, Religious Studies and Music; A-Levels: A*s in Chemistry, Physics and Maths; A's in Further Maths and French; MSci in Maths and Physics from Durham University
Work HistorySales Assistant in Marks and Spencer's; Bar Staff at Chester Racecourse; Laboratory Technician; Maths and Physics Tutor.
Current JobPhD student, currently based at CERN
University of Warwick
Favourite thing to do in my job: Discuss my work with the public and give tours of the experiments
About Me: I'm a PhD student currently living in Geneva and working at CERN. I love exploring new places and visiting different parts of the world!
I moved to Geneva about 6 months ago and now live in apartment surrounded by mountains, which is amazing! (Although I do miss my dog Dexter!) Since moving out here, I’ve been learning how to ski – actually quite difficult! – and the views are stunning. It’s a great way to explore the area. When I’m not feeling so energetic, I do enjoy binge-watching my favourite shows on Netflix and going for coffee with my friends (the coffee in Switzerland is great!).
My Work: As a physicist, I am trying to understand the way the world works. For me personally, this involves looking at the smallest bits of our universe (particles) and seeing what they do when we smash them together at very high speeds!
I work on the ATLAS experiment at CERN. It really is amazing to see the scale of it and to be a part of this is so cool. The experiment itself took many years to build with many engineers working on it. It lives 100m underground and weighs approximately the same as the Eiffel Tower!
At CERN, we collide particles together at extremely high speeds in order to see what happens. My job is to look at these collisions and piece together what is going on. The particles leave tracks in the detector and different particles have different features that we can use to identify them.
CERN creates about 40,000,000 collisions per second so it would be impossible to look at all of these images by hand. Instead, we use really powerful computers to help us and I write computer code so that I can look at all of these collisions.
We also don’t do all this work by ourselves. CERN is an international collaboration; this means that I get to work with people from all over the world and we share our ideas and results. It really is a fantastic place to work!
My Typical Day: I'm definitely not a morning person so generally I start my day around 9.30am by walking to work. I go to my office that has a view of the mountains and I turn on my computer ready to search for new and exciting discoveries.
I work on the CERN site in Geneva.
It really is like it’s own little town with restaurants, shops and buses inside. My typical work day involves writing and testing code and this can be frustrating at times! However, the cool part is when everything comes together and we get results that help us understand the universe, for example, when a new particle gets discovered.
There are so many people working at CERN so we often have meetings to catch up with what everyone is doing and organise talks to explain new things that we are working on. These usually end up with me having more questions than answers, but this is what makes it exciting and gives me new challenges every day.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
friendly, adventurous, curious
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
the discovery of the Higgs boson, whilst I was in sixth form!
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be an astronaut for a very long time but then I realised that space scared me quite a lot so it didn't work out!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
not really 😇
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I actually have no idea so it's a good job I have this job!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Right now, Lizzo - I just think she's amazing!
What's your favourite food?
Chocolate, hands down
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Ziplined down Whistler Mountain in Canada
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish I could have the time and the money to travel the world; win a Nobel Prize; have the power to time travel
Tell us a joke.
I once knew a guy with no shins. His name was toe knee.