A short(ish) version of my CV can be found below. My full CV is available upon request - just get in touch.

Last updated: December 2021


Assistant Research Group Leader, Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Hannover, Germany, 2019-Present

I co-lead the AEI 10 meter prototype group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik in Hannover, Germany, building a 10 m Michelson interferometer test bed. The project uses suspended optics, optomechanics and low noise electronics, and is housed within a 100 m³ vacuum system with the goal of reaching and surpassing the standard quantum sensitivity limit. Side experiments are also undertaken to measure optical dielectric coating thermal noise and optical surface quality, modelling the interferometer's control systems, and performing design and consultation for the future 10 km Einstein Telescope detector.

Postdoc, Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Hannover, Germany, 2018-2019

Max-Planck-Society funded postdoctoral position within the AEI 10 meter prototype group with responsibilities as outlined above.

Research Associate, Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, 2017

European Research Council funded postdoctoral research position working on a proof-of-principle experiment to show the improvement in sensitivity in future gravitational wave detectors using a new interferometer topology.

SUPA Industrial Research Assistant, Razorbill Instruments Ltd., Edinburgh, 2016-2017

I co-wrote a successful application funded by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance to work with the start-up company to produce a high-voltage amplifier for sale to the research community. The developed product, the RP100, is available from Razorbill Instruments.


PhD in Experimental Physics, Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, 2012-2016

Thesis title: Enhancing the Sensitivity of Future Gravitational Wave Detectors

Advisors: Prof Stefan Hild and Prof Ken Strain

MSci in Physics, University of Glasgow, 2007-2012

Other topics: Computing Science, Mathematics

Research Experience

AEI 10 m prototype facility, 2018-Present

  • Planning of future research direction of the project, management of current tasks, writing of funding applications, purchasing of lab equipment and infrastructure. Writing of advertisements and interviews of potential new group members.
  • Laboratory work in the areas of laser interferometry, electronics, optics and optomechanics, and mechanical engineering. Particular focus on low-noise and high speed, high voltage electronics for fast actuation and control of optical cavities, and wideband frequency stabilisation of coherent (NdYAG) lasers.
  • Development of simulation software (FINESSE and Zero) for modelling optics, interferometers and electronics.
  • Implementation of physical environment monitoring and warning system.
  • Analysis of historical vacuum system data to understand limits to vacuum pumping speed and ultimate pressure.
  • Supervision of numerous PhD, Masters, Bachelors, summer and intern students projects.

Sagnac speed meter experiment, 2014-2017

Working on proof-of-principle experiment to demonstrate a new type of audio-band gravitational wave interferometer funded by the European Research Council (Glasgow, UK)

  • Development of interferometer control system using numerical and analytical models.
  • Development of high-voltage amplifier and actuator electronics to facilitate high-speed interferometer control.
  • Design of analogue and digital signalling strategies and construction of hardware to minimise noise contamination.
  • Modelling the behaviour of quantum noise in the presence of loss (academic publication).
  • Installation of mechanical and electrical components in a clean-room environment.

Einstein Telescope Working Group, 2013-Present

Collaborating with colleagues from Birmingham and Moscow State universities and Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik modelling controls for the future Einstein Telescope gravitational wave detector

  • Implementation of models to simulate low frequency Einstein Telescope interferometer behaviour and sensitivity.
  • Creation of conceptual control system to inform future technical design study (academic publication).
  • Development of software for efficiently searching European map data for suitable locations to place the Einstein Telescope on the surface instead of underground.

AEI 10 m prototype experiment, 2013-2014

Visiting scientist working on experiment to surpass the Standard Quantum Limit (Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik, Hanover, Germany)

  • Conceptual development of an alignment sensing and control strategy for prototype interferometer.
  • Assembly and testing of suspension mechanics in a clean-room environment.
  • Investigation of low thermal noise optical coating design.

Glasgow 10 m prototype facility, 2012-2017

Helping to develop and test techniques to improve sensitivity in future gravitational wave detectors at the Glasgow 10 m prototype facility (Glasgow, UK)

  • Experiment to test the invariance of waveguide mirrors to transverse-to-longitudinal phase noise using suspended Fabry-Perot optical cavity (academic publication).
  • Creation and implementation of networked, remote control system with web-based interface for the alignment of suspended optics.
  • Design and implementation of web-based system for lab notes.

Dynamic demand renewable energy project, 2011-2012

Project student working on smart charger concept for portable electronics to assist integration of renewable energy sources in electricity grids (Glasgow, UK)

  • Creation of prototype smart laptop charger electronics and software controller.
  • Demonstration of laptop charger responding to changes in demand and supply in the electricity grid (academic publication).
  • Featured by MIT Technology Review.

Wave optics simulation tools, 2010-2011

Project student building a Java-based wave optics simulation package for teaching and fundamental research (Glasgow, UK)

  • Implementation of wave optics simulator with graphical user interface for rapid prototyping of optical experiments, used in undergraduate laboratories in Glasgow.
  • Application of program with study into autostereogram resonators (academic publication).

Teaching and Outreach

Exploring The Cosmos lecture course, University of Glasgow, 2017

  • Delivered nine-lecture undergraduate course on mapping techniques for astronomy.
  • Updated course material and provided new notes to compliment lectures.
  • Provided help and feedback to students on course content throughout the semester.
  • Set and graded class tests and exam questions.

Software Carpentry course, SUPA, Glasgow, 2016

  • Presented an introductory course on Python programming to graduate students from the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) as part of a two day workshop.

Detection of geomagnetic storms laboratory, University of Glasgow astronomy honours laboratory experiment, 2016

  • Assisted undergraduates in the design and assembly of electronics for detecting changes to the Earth's magnetic field.
  • Created new hardware monitor and web-based interface for University Observatory's magnetometer to allow comparison of results with student projects.
  • Designed circuit board to be populated by students as part of the project.

Other demonstrating, University of Glasgow undergraduate laboratories, 2013-2016

  • Astronomy 1: visual astronomy, data analysis (2013-2015)
  • Physics 3: radio frequency physics, op-amps, thermal noise (2016)

Writer and Specialist Editor, The Glasgow Insight into Science and Technology Magazine and E-Magazine, 2013-2017

Link to The GIST website

  • Presenting technical ideas in form understandable to the general public
  • Fact checking, referencing and copy-editing of articles
  • Helping to prepare regular web and print based publications

Editor, LIGO Magazine, 2014-Present

Link to LIGO Magazine issue archive

  • Soliciting material from LIGO Scientific Collaboration members to present in twice-yearly print magazine
  • Conducting interviews
  • Editing content, obtaining image credits and licences, assisting layout and proof-reading


Please see this page.

Awards and Grants

  • GWIC Thesis Prize (honourable mention), 2017
  • Leibniz Research Alumni Network Programme (€500), 2017
  • SUPA Industrial Placement (£19,768), 2016
  • Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (as member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration), 2016
  • Leibniz Research Alumni Network Programme (€500), 2016
  • Leibniz Research Alumni Network Programme (€500), 2015
  • Sustainability: Ideas Worth Spreading (winner), 2014
  • STFC Long Term Attachment grant (£4,567), 2013
  • IOP Gravitational Physics Group research student travel fund (£250), 2013