page_image_meet_the_team_Nancy Hertfordshire – Nancy Hine

I am a first year PhD student at the University of Hertfordshire studying the evolution of galaxies in different environments in the early Universe. I completed a Masters by Research in Astronomy at Hertfordshire last year and studied for my degree in Physical Science with The Open University. Prior to starting my Masters I worked as a Chartered Accountant, including several years as a senior manager with Ernst & Young. I also qualified as a counsellor working both voluntarily and in private practice.

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 Kent – Tarik Zegmott

I am a first year doctoral research student at the University of Kent. My research focuses on the YORP effect, this effect alters the rotational properties of asteroids. The YORP effect is important in explaining the evolution of small asteroids. Prior to my PhD I obtained my Masters (MPhys) in Physics with Astronomy at the University of Southampton, I spent my 4th year abroad at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics where I first started researching asteroids.

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Open University – Rhian Chapman

I am a second year planetary science postgrad at the OU, working within the Planetary Environments Group. I am researching the formation and development of dust storms in the atmosphere of Mars, currently focusing on surface dust lifting processes. My work includes long-term simulation of the Martian atmosphere using a Global Circulation Model. Prior to starting my PhD I worked for seven years in the engineering industry, in both R&D and client-facing roles.

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page_image_meet_the_team_DavidPortsmouth – David Wilkinson

I am a third-year PhD student at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth. My research in galaxy evolution investigates the effect of changing input model ingredients on derived galaxy properties, using a new purpose-built full spectral fitting code that both works at the very high spectral resolution of modern stellar population models, and links large spectroscopic surveys. Prior to my PhD I completed a Master of Physics degree at the University of Oxford, specialising in Particle Physics and Astrophysics. I’m looking forward to helping GRADnet succeed in the training, employability and development of fellow PhD students.

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Queen Mary, University of London – Dominic Carter – Panel Chair

I am halfway through my PhD researching the modelling of the atomic structures of nanoparticles using neutron and x-ray diffraction and the Reverse Monte-Carlo technique. Due to a their high surface to bulk ratio, an average structure inferred by traditional crystallographic methods are less representative of the structures as information is found increasingly at their surfaces, with decreasing size, expressed as difuse scattering through diffraction data. Modelling this diffuse scattering data will enable the surface structure to be explored. Through GRADnet I hope to help my peers engage in extremely enjoyable training and developement while meeting fellow PhD students from around the south-east. I have also undertaken a variety of non-academic roles in the several years prior to starting my undergraduate degree at Queen Mary College,University of London.

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Royal Holloway, University of London – Alex Waterworth

Currently I am a second year PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London, studying quantum spin liquids, superfluidity and quantum criticality in helium films. This involves cooling atomic monolayers of helium adsorbed on graphite to ultra low temperatures using a nuclear adiabatic demagnetisation refrigerator and measuring the susceptibility and spin dynamics of the system with nuclear magnetic resonance. These monolayers of helium provide a wide range of accessible parameter space for studying Fermi liquid theory in two-dimensions. Previously I completed an MPhys in Physics at Lancaster University with my major project focusing on quantum turbulence.

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Southampton – Andy Smith

Andy_SmithI’m a second year PhD student at the University of Southampton in the Space Environment Physics group.  My work deals with the aurora on Saturn, and the processes that make it happen.  I mainly use data from the magnetometer and plasma instruments on board the Cassini spacecraft.  Before my PhD I graduated from the University of Southampton with a Masters (MPhys) in Physics with Astronomy.

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S Parsons PictureSurrey – Steve Parsons

I am a second year PhD student at the University of Surrey where my research is focused on investigating using the Pockels effect to detect ionising radiation which has potential applications in high flux environments. Prior to my doctorate I completed a BEng in Electronic Engineering at Reading University and a MSc in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation at Surrey which was funded through a SEPnet studentship. Upon graduating I worked for several years as a research engineer for the civil service before returning to academia.

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Sussex – Chris Harman

I am a PhD student within the Theoretical Particle Physics (TPP) group at the University of Sussex. My primary research focuses on the Electroweak Phase Transition, Electroweak Baryogengesis, and Supersymmetry. My current work is looking into a new prescription as to how to guarantee a strong phase transition using only the parameters in a zero temperature quantum field theory. I obtained my undergraduate MSci Physics degree in 2013 at Royal Holloway, University of London, also a member of SEPnet.