Marshallswick Boys School, St Albans. Brunel University.
Master's degree - Software Engineering.
Nokia, Samsung, NEC and Surrey Satellite Technologies.
Flight Software Engineer
I am a Software Engineer in the Aerospace industry.
I am married with 2 grown up sons the younger of which has just started his first year at university studying Physics. Our older son is a musician and plays at gigs, does some teaching and has written film scores for several short films.
We live in a small town (very near Windsor) on the very western out shirts of London near Heathrow airport so its a busy place with quite a bit of aircraft noise.
For many years my wife has run a local nursery school and went back to university about 10 years ago to better understand the educational needs of very young children.
A Software Engineering working on Satellite Data Recorders.
I have been a Software Engineer for the last 30 years working on mobile phones, communication systems, medical equipment and most fortunately for the last 7 years satellites. For nearly all of this last 7 years I have been working on what are known as Data Recorders. Data Recorders are just one of many electronic modules that are built into satellites and are responsible for capturing and downloading all the images taken by the satellites. The type of satellite I have mostly worked on are known as Earth Observation satellites because these spacecraft specialize in taking pictures of our planet.
My Typical Day
I think its reasonable to say I don't have a typical day.
I had no idea there was a prize let alone any money. I am only a few years off retirement and have for sometime thought about how I would use my time once retired. The number 1 thought of mine has been to go around schools helping teachers devise technology projects and support student with these project. The advantage I have, if it can be consider and advantage, is that because Software engineering is such a new area I will be among the first of its retirees. Of course I can do this without winning a prize so probably best to let someone else have it.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Developed and written software for spacecraft that are currently orbiting the Earth.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
BBC Horizon program - Chips with Everything.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Technical Drawing - I don't suppose its a subject anymore.
What did you want to be after you left school?
An Electronics Engineer.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Mostly with the PE teacher, I wasn't a great sports enthusiast.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I don't want to think about that.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Jimmy Hendrix - yes you've probably never heard of him.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
An arctic safari in Finland - driving snowmobiles across miles and miles of open country side and on frozen lakes.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
We stay in the EU. Better funding for Education and the NHS.