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What’s your background?

Growing up on a farm in the north east of Scotland I enjoyed math, computing and science subjects throughout my early education. This directed me towards studying Electronic Engineering at college. I thrived on the problem solving and practical aspects of the field, and chose to continue my learning into University where I gained a more fundamental knowledge and much more. After learning about ScotGrad from the Careers Service, I secured a role as an Assistant Laser Engineer for Belford Research Ltd.

Describe the project you are working on?

The company is currently researching a cost-effective alternative method of qualifying optics for use in laser and electronics manufacture. If successful, our method will enable accurate laser damage testing throughout the entire region were –OH effects exist, especially at 2-microns where testing is an order of magnitude more costly than normal and has severely impacted Scottish based producers.

What has been your biggest achievement during your placement so far? 

My biggest achievement so far has been being able to contribute towards a project in a field which, prior to starting, I had little experience in. This has opened my eyes to all the technical and academic aspects of a research project and how the results and procedures constantly develop based on new information that is found.

What have you learnt during your placement?

Throughout my time with BRL I have learned a great deal about optics and laser physics. This has helped my overall understanding of the physical concepts that I now use on a daily basis, and with this familiarity I am now ready to learn in more depth about these fields of study.

Which skills learned at college or university have helped you in your role?

I have managed to implement many of the skills I obtained from University in this role such as programming, and an understanding of circuitry and components. This has helped me significantly; however, learning to look at an issue and consider what may be causing it, and why, has been a great skill as I have been able to apply this to any situation I have encountered and managed to solve the issue.

 

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