Science and Engineering were always likely to feature heavily in my career choice. The Apollo missions ( the Grand Challenge of the era), my discovery of some WWII rockets in my teens and not least the fact that the last three generations of my family had engineers in their ranks, were all significant in fuelling my interest and desire to find out how things work.
My first role as a professional scientist was, as part of my Degree, to conduct research into propellant stability for the Health & Safety Executive. Following my graduation, I went on to work in a similar field for a predecessor of the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (Dstl) researching into rocket motor noise as well as supporting the development of a novel, low noise projectile launching system. During the BLOODHOUND SSC development it will become apparent just how loud rockets are, which can be hazardous to hearing and equipment, if too close.
In the following few years, I broadened my experience into areas including control systems, aerodynamics and managing teams of scientists which gave numerous opportunities for the exchange of knowledge, experience and collaboration within Dstl and the wider science and technology communities in the UK and overseas.
Now, I work in Dstl as a propulsion advisor to the UK MOD research and procurement communities. Within the BLOODHOUND Programme, I provide technical support and identify information or expertise that may be of mutual benefit to BLOODHOUND development and UK Government..
I’ve learnt a lot over the breadth of my career, including that the occasional technical failure can greatly deepen our understanding, but also as importantly, that it is possible to have a job that can be demanding, challenging, worthwhile and fun both interchangeably and all at the same time.
Outside of work, I may be found cycling, running (well, jogging!), walking or trying to learn Arabic (just don’t test me!).