State Schools in Rural South-West
12 GCSEs (A-B), AS-Level EPQ: B, Chemistry: C, A-level: Maths: A, Further Maths: C, Physics: B, BSc 2:2 Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics inc. a Masters dissertation 2:1, Masters in Climate and Atmospheric Science 2:1 inc. dissertation 1st.
Babysitter, Silver Service Waitress, Nanny, Outreach Lecturer, Research Assistant, Intern, Electromagnetic Modeller, Outreach Fellow, Education Advisor
The University of Leeds, funded by NERC (National Environment Research Council) DTP (Doctoral Training Partnership) PhD Programme.
Outdoorsy, scientist, baker.
I live in Leeds with my husband. I have recently started learning how to create digital animation. I love to cook and bake, recently making a selection of sweets.
My pronouns are she/her.
How I Use Maths In My Job:
I make observations so there are errors and statistics involved with that. I use Geometry and measurements for the main part of my PhD, in particular, relating to the shape of the Earth.
I study the shape of the Earth, to see how we can reduce errors and improve our measurements between ground-based weather radar and atmospheric research aircraft to look at clouds.
I am a final year PhD student at the University of Leeds. I work with ground-based weather radar. Typically radars are used to observe the weather, and you might see brightly coloured odd-shaped clouds from the radar on the forecast, telling you where it has rained. These radars operate 24/7 unless they are broken, but I work with research radars, which do not operate all the time, but for specific weather events, or projects. A project might involve a radar and the UK’s atmospheric research aircraft (FAAM), and usually lots of weather balloons. I aim to improve the coincident measurements between the radar and aircraft. I do this to look at calculations of how much water there is in a cloud, or how many insects there are in the air.
My Typical Day
Coding and Writing!
First thing I do in my workday is to check my calendar to see when I have meetings, I then check my emails, and answer anything important. Some days I might have back to back meetings, now all online. Other days, I have a mixture of writing and coding. The pandemic meant fieldwork was cancelled this summer, but we have some planned for next summer which I am really looking forward to. Typically I would spend a total of a month or more away on fieldwork, spread throughout the year. I also do visits to labs for collaboration and conferences. I have a set up with two monitors from my laptop, as it means I can have code running on one, and then looking up bits on the other or writing. I mainly code in python, but I have a few other languages under my belt.
Right now I am working on finishing up a coding package and running some performance tests which are taking ~25mins. Whilst that is running, I am reading lots of scientific papers and writing up the equations I am using in the code in the correct format for my thesis.
I don’t work weekends unless for fieldwork, but then I would take a few extra days holiday. I typically start work at 9 and finish between 5 and 6. However, I do not do this every day, some days, I might stop earlier or have long breaks as I have flexible working hours. As a PhD student, my time is my own, so sometimes I will take a restorative day off mid-week.
What I'd do with the prize money
Resources for Extra Curricula STEM
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
A mixture of people, but mainly the desire to answer questions!
What's your favourite use for maths in everyday life?
Settlers of Catan, dice roll probability.
What did you think about Maths when you were in school?
I loved Maths
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I was pretty good.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Tell us a joke.
A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a beer. The bartender replies, “For you, no charge.”