The recent black hole image, captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) – a network of eight linked telescopes – was rendered by Dr Bouman’s algorithm. Good article by Katy Steinmetz in Time Magazine online:
Though her work developing algorithms was a crucial to the project, Bouman sees her real contribution as bringing a way of thinking to the table. “What I did was brought the culture of testing ourselves,” she says. The project combined experts from all sorts of scientific backgrounds, ranging from physicists to mathematicians, and she saw the work through the lens of computer science, stressing the importance of running tests on synthetic data and making sure that the methods they used to make the image kept human bias out of the equation.
Bouman says that most of the time she’s not focused on the fact that she’s in a field where women are the minority. “But I do sometimes think about it. How do we get more women involved?” she says. “One key is showing that when you go into fields like computer science and engineering, it’s not just sitting in a lab putting together a circuit or typing on your computer.”
She plans to continue work with the Event Horizon Telescope team, which is adding satellite dishes in space to the network of telescopes here on Earth that were used to produce the image released on Wednesday. With the increased perspective and power, she says, they just might be able to make movies of black holes in addition to still images.
“It’s exciting,” she says. And that’s also her message for the next generation who might consider careers like hers. “As long as you’re excited and you’re motivated to work on it, then you should never feel like you can’t do it.”
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
The Space Placements in INdustry scheme (SPIN) provides an introductory link for those considering employment(and wanting to build experience) in the space sector with space sector organisations looking to find the most talented and enthusiastic people to ensure the future. It’s managed by the UK Space Agency and supported by the Satellite Applications Catapult. They offer paid summer internships with lots of benefits. Kathie Bowden from the UK Space Agency says:
“Please spread the word to your students there are some great opportunities now – and more to come – in the next few weeks.”
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
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!
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.
Here is a chance to challenge your thinking on what a career in tech looks like. It is an easy way to get to a range of organisations offering work experience and graduate roles related to tech. There will be Over 50 employers with internships and graduate opportunities and some interesting talks including:
How is tech changing roles across industries? – Speakers will share fantastic examples of how tech is changing industries you might not traditionally think of as tech – agriculture, energy and medicine.
Open to students from all year groups – around half of the 50 + organisations attending will be recruiting students from any discipline, so don’t rule yourself out. They want physics & astronomy students!
It doesn’t matter what stage you are at in your course or in planning your career, you can come along to this fair and find out about options for your future. Find out more here
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
Ewan shows how a degree in Physics can take you in interesting directions.
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.