Ravensdale Primary School then John Port School, Derby
GCSEs, then A-Levels, then first degree in Natural Sciences, a Masters in Spacecraft Technology and Satellite Communications, then a Ph.D. in Physics (Space Science)
1998: Junior Visiting Scientist, International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzlerland. 1999-2000: Institute for Planetology, U. Münster, Germany, 2001-2008: Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University, Milton Keynes, U.K.
Instrument Systems and Operations Engineer
Favourite thing to do in my job: Watch something I've worked on being fired off into space and arrive at Mars
I'm a scientist-turned-engineer working on Mars exploration for the European Space Agency in the Netherlands
I live in Leiden with my girlfriend, our cat and two pianos. I’m a fan of Doctor Who and Pink Floyd (among other things) and like travelling to Iceland. I can speak French and German and bits of a few other languages.
Before moving to the Netherlands, I grew up in Derby then studied or worked in Cambridge, London, Canterbury, Switzerland, Germany and Milton Keynes (see map below).
My Work on the ExoMars Mission
I make sure the science instruments fit onto the Rover and will work properly when we get to Mars.
Our Rover has nine scientific instruments, provided by universities and research organisations around Europe, Russia and the US. I have been following their development and the definition of the interfaces (mechanical, thermal, electrical, data, etc.) between four of these instruments and the Rover that ESA has paid industry to build. The instruments I look after are now all on board the Rover and working OK, so my main role now is to look after some cross-calibration between instruments and help prepare for operations after launch and arrival at Mars.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Participated in the landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan, in 2005.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Going on a 1-week Space summer school when I was 17
What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths and then chemistry
What did you want to be after you left school?
A research chemist
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not very often
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Some sort of historian, archaeologist or achivist I think
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?