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!