I'm an experimental physicist living and working in Hannover, Germany, having spent the last 10 years in Glasgow, Scotland. I work on instrumentation for ground-based gravitational wave detectors. In my spare time I also like to write Python, build electronics, cycle and go hillwalking (though there aren't many hills in Hannover!).
My PhD thesis was on the topic of gravitational wave interferometry, and in particular control aspects for new experiments. I was lucky enough to be part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration during the time we made the first ever detection of gravitational waves, which was absolutely amazing to be involved in. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to spend six months of my PhD abroad at the Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover, Germany, working in the 10 m prototype group. This is a 10 m L-shaped mini gravitational wave detector that will be a test bed for future technologies. It is housed in a giant laboratory with all the latest gadgets.
After my PhD I took a brief stint outside of academia working for Razorbill Instruments, a scientific instrumentation start-up based at the beautiful Royal Observatory in Edinburgh with two great founders. While I was there, my project was to develop a high voltage power supply and amplifier for their primary strain and stress cell products. The project was a huge learning experience for all of us, with lots of ups and downs, but eventually it culminated in the availability of the RP100.
As of 2018 I am back at the Max-Planck-Institute in Hannover, again in the 10 m prototype group, this time as a postdoc. I'm basically doing the same sort of stuff as I did during my PhD, but getting paid more and - I like to think - doing a better job.