Peter Rhodes

Technology Lead

Peter takes us through what a technology lead does and what it is like being a physicist at Kromek

Where and what did you study at university?

I studied an integrated masters in Physics at the University of Southampton. During that course, I was able to spend a year studying abroad at the University of Adelaide, and spent time on two particularly interesting projects – one attempting to improve the absorption of laser light by a solution of gold nanoparticles by using light trapping, and another simulating the pathological outcomes of cancer patients undergoing proton therapy for cancer.

Peter Rhodes - Physicist - Kromek

What do you specialise in?

At Kromek, I head a project developing novel technologies to improve X-ray baggage scanners and allow them to automatically detect explosives hidden in bags. In terms of physics, my job is to be an all-rounder – my team has extremely capable and highly skilled specialised physicists who know more than anyone about the task in hand. I have to understand the complex concepts they discuss and use my understanding across the project and wider areas to guide our development.

Why did you look at Kromek as a company to work for?

After I graduated with my physics masters, I went abroad for a few months. When I returned, I particularly wanted a small and dynamic company, where I would be given real responsibility from the start, where I might be able to have a variety of roles and wear a few different hats, and where I would be able to directly use my physics training.

What do you do day to day at Kromek?

I manage a team developing technology for our project, but I also get involved with the science and data analysis, and I have one or two other responsibilities in the company, such as managing one of our software products. I write Python scripts, arrange meetings with my team and external partners to coordinate our development efforts. I try to ensure that my team has everything it needs to operate effectively and responsively while making sure to cross-check our conclusions and keep us on the most productive technical route!

Any advice for students looking to get into a physics career?

There are industrial options in physics, you can escape the classroom!
Academia offers a huge amount and can be great for a lot of people, but I know I was keen to spend at least some time out of academia after I finished my degree. Having experienced working life outside a university, I haven’t looked back!

See what opportunities are available

Want to join Kromek?

Stay up to date with Kromek news

Subscribe to our newsletter

Unsure what product you need?

Use our Product Finder tool