Interview success

To improve your chances of doing well in job and placement interviews, watch the video clip below. Gil Travish at Adaptix provides tips on how to do well in Skype interviews and explains what he is looking for in a physics graduate

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Focus on: Lockheed Martin

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Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Lockheed Martin UK has its HQ in London and 16 key sites across the UK from Cornwall to Glasgow. Working across Aeronautics, Missiles & Fire Control, Rotary and Mission Systems and Space (including partnerships in global communications, weather forecasting, space exploration and national security).

I met some of their staff recently at the recent UKSEDS Student Space Conference, including a recent astrophysics graduate. Their space division builds the satellites and spacecraft that do amazing things in space for government and commercial customers e.g. Lockheed Martin-built satellites give earlier warning of severe weather, connect troops on the battlefield, and deliver GPS directions to a billion people worldwide.

They recruit physics and astronomy students and graduates for summer internships and graduate positions. LM UK has a graduate programme and their are opportunities globally too

To find out more visit Lockheed Martin

KTPs – Graduate jobs straddling academia and industry

Thanks to my colleague Deborah Fowlis for this great introduction to KTPs

If you’d like to work for a local company and manage your own projects while earning a competitive graduate salary, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) may be for you.

What are Knowledge Transfer Partnerships?
The KTP scheme is one of the UKs largest graduate employment programmes and one of the longest running. It helps business to innovate and grow by providing three-way collaboration between universities, organisations and graduates.

Businesses link up with an academic or research institution, which then help to recruit a suitably qualified graduate, known as a KTP Associate. Employed by the university, the associate then works for the company on strategic projects, helping to improve business performance and increase productivity. As a KTP associate, the type of work you carry out depends on your qualifications and the company that you work for, but as an example, KTP projects could include:

  • reorganising production facilities
  • introducing new technologies to an organisation
  • designing new or improved products, processes or services
  • developing new business strategies and breaking into new markets.

With over 300 job opportunities available every year, the scheme can take from 12 months to three years to complete. Upon completion, around 70% of employers offer associates a full-time job, usually in a management role.

What sectors can I work in?
KTPs are primarily aimed at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) but companies of all sizes, including not-for-profit organisations in a variety of industries can take part in the programme. You could work a wide range of industries, those particularly of interest to physicists and astronomers are:

  • engineering and manufacturing
  • science and pharmaceuticals
  • environment and agriculture
  • energy and utilities
  • business, consulting and management

What are the benefits of a KTP?

  • experience of managing a challenging, real-life project of vital importance to a business
  • opportunities to gain professional qualifications – often business related
  • a competitive graduate salary, usually in region of £25,000 to £35,000.
  • the possibility of full-time employment at the end of the project
  • access to a budget of £2,000 per year for training, £2,250 for travel and a further £1,500 for necessary equipment.

Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the KTP scheme graduates need a 2:1 Bachelors degree in a relevant subject or a Masters or PhD. You’ll also need the right to work in the UK.

To find vacancies online head to Innovate UK. Here you’ll be able to register your interest in the programme, create a profile so recruiters can find you and search current vacancies.

 

IBM Universities Business Challenge UoE success

Maxwell’s Angels came 4th in the grand final in London!

Over 300 teams UK-wide took part in this highly competitive challenge, the majority from university business schools.  The School of Physics & Astronomy got three teams to the Edinburgh semi-final (one winning best presentation) and this team (mentored by Vicky Clark of The DataLab) to the London final so did Edinburgh proud. It just shows how good our students are – and how studying physics & astronomy can make you capable of doing more than you might think!

Here they are getting their certificates.

Team Maxwells Angels

Maxwells Angels 4th in grand final

M3 Consulting open days next week

M3 Consulting will be hosting open days next week in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  These are targeted at STEM students, including physics & astronomy students and are quite tech specific. They will also be  advertising their internship and graduate opportunities.

M3 Edinburgh event

M3 Glasgow event

They have quite a range of graduate opportunities, including software development in the aviation sector if you have:

  • Knowledge of a programming language like Java, C++, C# or Python
  • Excellent analytical and numeracy skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Success at IBM Universities Business Challenge semi-final!

The Universities Business Challenge Worldwide is the world’s longest established simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills. Supported by the UK and South Africa’s leading universities and graduate employers, over 30,000 students have benefitted from taking part in the UBC Worldwide Challenge since 1998.

UPDATE*** 

  • Maxwell’s Angels won the semi-final so onto the final in London on the 22nd!
  • Team Kepler came third and won best presentation on the day
  • Here’s what Tommaso said:

    Even though we didn’t qualify I’m still happy with the semi-final as I wasn’t even expecting to get there. As a theoretical physics student I had no background in business or any related subject (not even in high school) and I feel I have learnt a lot from it.

I am very proud to be supporting all three School of Physics & Astronomy teams who have made it to the IBM UBC semi-final in Edinburgh today.  The teams are Maxwell’s Angels led by Sania Lewis, Kepler led by Adam Thomas-Mitchell and Maxwell’s Demons led by Wesley Shao.  SOPA teams have done well in this competition so I am wishing them lots of luck. If you want to know more about the IBM UBC, you can find it here.

Semi-final winners! Maxwell’s Angels led by Sania Lewis – Emma Elley, Elizabeth Applequist, Hildegard Metzger, Olivia Ngan

IBM team1

Team Kepler led by Adam Thomas-Mitchell, Brendan Martin, Amilah Choudhury, Rebecca Cassidy and Thomas Stanton

IBMteam2

Maxwell’s Demons led by Wesley Shao, Karel Vesely, Clara Edmonds,  Tommaso Bruggi, Margot Van Laar

ibmteam3IBMUBC

Rockstar North: Physics Programmer

Rockstar North is on the lookout for a talented Physics Programmer who possess a passion for developing cutting-edge physics and collision systems, using them in creative and novel ways.

They support the design, AI and gameplay teams to be able to use the physics systems in order to create novel new mission, AI and gameplay mechanics.

This is a full-time permanent position based out of Rockstar’s unique game development studio in the heart of Edinburgh.

More here

Lasers and electro-optics at Thales UK

Tracey Skivington, Electro-Optics Consultant, Thales UK

Tracey completed a B.Sc. (Hons) in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics followed by a Ph.D. in Physics and Applied Physics at the University of Strathclyde. From here, Tracey joined Thales as a laser engineer before moving into the field of electro-optics engineering.

Currently, Tracey works as an Electro-Optics Consultant within the Optronics and Missile Electronics (OME) domain within Thales.

Her area of expertise is in the modelling of electro-optics sensors across many different platforms, including land, sea and air. The sensor modelling includes, but is not limited to, colour TV cameras, laser rangefinders and designators, SWIR cameras, MWIR and LWIR Thermal Imaging technologies. Tracey also leads and manages the Glasgow OME Specialities team comprising of specialist engineers from disciplines in lasers, optics, electro-optics, algorithms and control systems.

Find out more about opportunities at Thales UK here

Astrophysics to Heineken

Data Scientist, Heineken

Kirstin Hay completed her PhD in Astrophysics at the University of St Andrews in early 2018 – her research focussed on using statistical and machine learning methods for the characterisation of exoplanet transits.

Since then, she has been working as a data scientist at Heineken UK, applying the techniques and methods from scientific research to solve business problems.  Having a PhD in itself wasn’t a requirement to work at Heineken but the experience she gained through doing it meant she had lots of evidence of the right skill set.

Heineken has several graduate scheme opportunities

What can I do with Physics? Guitar valves to fluids to polymers to image analysis

Ewan shows how a degree in Physics can take you in interesting directions.

engineer canon medical

Ewan Hemingway, Research Engineer, Canon Medical Research Europe 

I first studied physics at Edinburgh University for the Computational Physics MPhys degree. I was interested in acoustics at the time and my Masters project looked at numerical modelling of guitar value amplifiers. However, one of the 5th year elective courses that really grabbed my attention was a series on soft matter physics, and this prompted me to pursue PhD opportunities. Following a recommendation, I joined an EPSRC-funded PhD in the Physics department at Durham University. There I worked on various problems in computational fluid dynamics, specifically in the area of active matter (the study of living fluids).

I was also lucky to gain some industrial experience through a consultation / research project with Schlumberger.

After my PhD, I stayed in Durham for two more years as a post-doc, where I focused on modelling flow instabilities in polymer physics.

Most recently, I joined Canon as a research engineer in the Image Analysis group. I have been there for just under a year, but already I have worked on a range of interesting problems, e.g., using deep learning for image segmentation.