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.

Thanks to Institute of Physics, Scotland

Great roadshow organised by Ozi, IOP Scotland student rep, outside the Magnet café to raise awareness of the benefits of student membership. Their website, Physics World magazine, events programme and contacts can introduce you to a range of options and career advice. Find out more online

Cool cakes too…

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iop scotland

Featured employers with current grad and summer vacancies: Sharp & PA Consulting

Sharp Laboratories of Europe has had significant  involvement and success in the development of semiconductor laser diodes and laser based optical systems that are used in many products such as  image projectors, BluRay disc players and in next  generation AR smart glasses.  They are now looking for a researcher/engineer to join their device modelling theme located on the  Oxford Science Park, Oxford.

Vacancy on LinkedIn

PA Consulting is a management consultancy whose Technology Practice is a place where science, technology and market needs meet to think up solutions for some of the most perplexing problems in business. It’s about developing new products, original processes, advanced systems and unique technologies for clients who are often market-leaders. Ultimately, it’s about revolutionising industries by thinking differently, taking a fresh approach and challenging convention. They have a 10-week internship on offer

Working with like-minded scientists and engineers, you’ll take responsibility for vitally important elements of a development project. Very early in your internship you might find yourself getting involved in developing a new medical device, new diagnostics or a new consumer product. You could see a product at any stage from concept through prototype manufacture and even launch.

Vacancy on LinkedIn

Focus on: Arup and its services to clients

Arup is a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy that offers a really wide rage of services to its clients. A “global firm of designers, engineers, planners and business consultants providing a range of professional services to clients around the world”. This then translates into an interesting range of opportunities and areas for graduates to  work in, including building physics, radiation protection and acoustics & vibration.

Find out more about Arup and its opportunities for our students & graduates on MyCareerHub. Check the archive to see what they have offered.

Arup services grpahic (2)

Who wants to be a Civil Servant?

Good introduction to the Civil Service Fast Stream, which includes a science route too.

The Careers Service Blog

Thanks to Sophie Finlayson, one of this year’s Civil Service Fast Stream reps, for this quick guide to the UK Civil Service Fast Stream graduate programme. University of Edinburgh graduates are usually well represented in each year’s fast stream intake, and if you are interested in this option we would encourage you to talk to the Civil Service Fast Stream reps on campus, and make use of the support we can provide too.

Has a career in the Civil Service ever crossed your mind?

Unless you know someone who works in government, it can be pretty hard to imagine what a role there might involve. Jobs like ‘Change Manager’, ‘Digitiser’ or ‘Programme Support Officer’ are hardly as recognisable as your traditional doctor, lawyer, or teacher. I can’t say I’ve seen many school children dressed as ‘Policy Officers’ for careers day.

Yet, in 2017 more than 40,000 graduates registered for the…

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Careers in Risk

My colleague Matt Vickers writes:

“Careers in risk are incredibly diverse!  So rather like saying “I want to work in finance” or “I Want to work in development”, there are so many facets to risk you need to think about what kind of role within this broad sector and what your own skill-set and qualification lends itself to.

To give you an idea, here are some areas covered in a recent event I attended:

  • Studying Risk (Postgraduate) – Institute of Hazard, Risk & Resilience, Durham University
  • Enterprise Risk Management / Business Risk – Durham University
  • Natural Hazards and Risks – British Geological Survey
  • Commercial Risk Consulting – Marsh Risk Consulting
  • Disaster Risk Reduction – British Red Cross
  • Security Risk & Crisis Management – Trident Manor Ltd
  • Fire & Rescue – Co Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service
  • Commercial Risk Assurance – RSM

So everything from accounting to fire to aid work, strategic planning, insurance consulting, commercial espionage, earthquakes and terrorism!

Key points:

  • Durham MA and MSc courses are highly regarded (MSc is more on the science/eng./geosciences side off risk; MA more on the human/social/political)
  • BGS are doing a lot of work collaboratively – with UK clients (e.g. Network Rail, Met Office, private clients) and overseas (supporting less developed countries) so ability to work with others, collaborate, plan, cultural awareness etc. important.
  • Insurance risk consulting is a niche but rapidly growing area of work.  Big 4 do it, as does Marsh.  An interesting alternative to management consulting.
  • Security work is increasing with more graduates coming into the profession
  • Fire and rescue is still not a graduate entry career (except for the non-uniformed parts, e.g. HR, finance etc.) but may well become so.
  • RSM have an interesting division that looks at risk and forensic accounting in the context of aid projects, overseas development – called in to look for missing money!  Interesting work, but only a small team (15) and low turnover of staff – those who love it, love it!”

Matt has written a more detailed resource that is available on MyCareerHub

Success for Freddie

Freddie Ferguson (MPhys) was one of the physics team captains who got his team to the semi-final of the IBM Universities Business Challenge in Edinburgh this year.

He has just been successful in getting a Saltire internship this summer at Finning International in Vancouver.  He will be a Business Analysis Intern. You can find out more about the Saltire programme here. Freddie has agreed to write a couple of blogposts for this blog later in the summer.

171 bright, ambitious and talented students from across Scotland’s universities have secured internships around the globe. I’m very pleased to say that 12 are from the University of Edinburgh.

Saltire group 2018 inc Freddie

Here is what the Saltire Foundation told us:

“This year was a particularly competitive year, with over 1,500 students applying to take part in the programme – a 30% increase on last year. This incredible number is a strong indication the value your students continue to see in our programme and the opportunity it presents them. The Careers Service’s support of the programme and encouragement you provide your students has been instrumental in 2018 being yet another record breaking year.”

AI Careers Fair – 19th June, UoE

AI Fair

Submit your CV, get on-the-spot interviews, participate in talks and workshops, meet leading AI companies such as Facebook and Microsoft, welcome to EdIntelligence’s AI Career Fair!

Do you use Artificial Intelligence techniques in your studies? Are thinking about working in the sector?

No matter if you are doing a PhD in Physics, studying AI in your Masters or are a curious Bachelor student, they welcome everyone with knowledge in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, High-Performance Computing, Vision/ Imaging or anything related from all programmes!  At this career fair you can:

– meet companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Lloyds Banking Group, Five AI and Skyscanner ( for a full list see our website: https://edintelligence.github.io/fair/companies.html)
– submit your CV beforehand to have companies contact you and increase your chance to…
– get an interview at the day through our on-the-spot interviews.
– listen to talks and workshops that are held throughout the day. (You can find a provisional schedule at https://edintelligence.github.io/fair/schedule.html)
– simply explore the AI company space from startups to large companies!

If you are a student or recent graduate from ANY university and interested in AI, sign up here https://edintelligence.github.io/fair

PS Use the Careers Service guides on interviews & CVs and get some feedback on your CV before you share with any employers.  The Careers Service is open through the summer

 

PhD Careers Horizons event

Our recent PhD Horizons event went very well with around 160 PhD students and research staff attend on the day, and 29 speakers, including the School of Physics and Astronomy’s very own Dr Ross Galloway, talking about his career experience.

We had speaker panels covering areas including policy & research, entrepreneurial, non-academic science, creative industries, professional roles in higher education, academic careers, business & consultancy

Feedback on the day was very positive. Summaries from all speaker panels will be available on our website soon and the summaries from 2017 are still available on the PhD section of our website

Find out more here