What do you do at ISIS?
I am an instrument scientist within the muon group, responsible for the two spectrometer, ARGUS and CHRONUS, on the RIKEN-RAL facility. However, I also act as a local contact across all muons beamlines here at ISIS as well as utilising both neutron and muon instruments for my own research.
What route did you take to get to where you are now?
I started off my career doing an undergraduate masters in chemistry at UCL and then moving to the physics department at Durham University for my PhD studying organic based magnetic materials. This was where I was first introduced to muons, mainly because everything I tried to do with neutrons just didn't work! After my PhD, I spent time as a postdoctoral research fellow in China, working for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and in Australia where my position was split between the Australian National University and ANSTO. I got a job within the muon group at ISIS and the rest is history.
What key attributes do you need for your job?
I think it would be a common assumption that to do this job you need to be methodical, logical and able to work through problems. I am none of these things; so my key attributes are that I am creative, spontaneous, I like to involve people and share ideas, passionate and you have to be amicable!
What do you like most about your job?
I like doing the research. I try to keep an active research program, where I find problems and solve them using a variety of experimental techniques. Working at ISIS, I am not tied just to using muons, and during my time here, I've been to other facilities to use different techniques to provide different information on different materials.
What has been your greatest achievement in your role so far?
I think my greatest achievement is simply just being here. A lot of us have worked really hard to just get to a point where we can find permanent jobs within science and academia that allows us freedom to express ourselves and indulge in doing scientific research.