Dr George Dobre, Physics lecturer, University of Kent

Current students will know me as a teacher, delivering interactive lectures and hands-on workshops in the physics lab – all designed to add an element of fun! Physics applicants may know me as an admissions tutor, as I spend time dealing with their enquiries, following up applications and welcoming them on open days. However, most of my time is spent on research and associated work, from writing grant applications and papers for journals, and attending conferences, to supervising students who are given the chance to get involved in the practical research.

Building a world first

My research in Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) follows on from the work I did as a student, where I worked on a project in partnership with BAE systems, developing the use of tiny optical fibres in aeroplanes. This opened my eyes to the enormous variety of work in the optics area. In fact, I built the world’s first fluorescence OCT for the human eye, which was installed at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary. The technology allows clinicians to use a non-invasive means to understand what is happening within the eye, by using light in the same way as radar to determine distance. So whilst OCT has had a massive rise in interest, it’s still comparatively new.

Student becomes the master

I came to Kent in 1991 and obtained a BSc in Physics, swiftly followed by my PhD – even though my finances were rather precarious! I then stayed at Kent as a Post Doctoral Researcher, until a lectureship in physics came up. It’s fair to say that whilst there have been many changes to the university and campus over the years, the friendly atmosphere has always remained the same.

With regards to location, as a student, I thought Canterbury was great with easy trips to London and the continent. I still like the city now, although I’d like to see more Japanese restaurants – it’s my favourite food!

My ideal week outside of work

I’d travel abroad, without a doubt. I love exploring and my ideal destination would be South America – it’s somewhere I’ve never visited and I’m intrigued as to how the culture and the architecture differs to that of Europe.