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.
How long have you worked at Kromek?
Just over two years
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 co-ordinate 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! 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!