My parents tell me the story of how they would find me playing with it, holding it up and trying to work out why it glows over in this part of the room but not that part. I’ve always had that curiosity.
Science was the obvious path for me. At first, I thought I wanted to do medicine but then I was in secondary school and started studying physics at an advanced level and I thought this is the one. Physics is the one for me.
When I went to university, I had a rough time at first. Things didn’t go well for me and I was assaulted. I had some severe injuries, and my skull was fractured in four places. I was in bed for six months and I had to repeat a year of university. It was a pretty rough time and I felt disenchanted with it all.
But then, in my third year, I did a module which was a team project, working with an industrial partner which sets practical problems involving physics and set a team of four to six students to work on it for eight weeks. And I loved it. It gave me a spark: this is what I want to do.
It was a fairly successful project and the company seemed happy with the results of the research. They offered me part-time work alongside my degree. I was absolutely delighted and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Two years on, Mr Carl Hunter the CEO offered me a full-time position for after I graduated which was brilliant because by this time we were in lockdown and I was worried about the future. But Carl honoured his offer despite the pandemic and I started working full-time for Coltraco Ultrasonics remotely and then I was able to move into a flat near the office and work on site.
I’m a manager of research and development and I develop projects to use ultrasound for monitoring safety systems in things like fire cylinders or to check the flow rate through pipes in sprinkler systems to make sure that everything is working as it should.
I’m excited about the potential of the kit we’re developing to monitor air tightness which can really help with reaching net zero in the built environment to make energy efficient buildings. I think we are working on something genuinely groundbreaking which would be fantastic.
I have friends at work and I’m doing things that I love. I’ve started cycling again over the last year or so, because I needed to get back into exercise after lockdown. My parents come to visit me and they’re happy that I’m building a life doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I really am a scientist now.