Topic outline

  • February is Finding Your Future Month!

    Over the month we will have CV clinics, discussion sessions with people from a range of careers who have plenty of experience, tales and tips on what comes next: what to think about, how to approach looking for a job. 

    Lots of dark blue cubes scattered, while one bright yellow cube stands out, to represent finding a career in a sea of potential
    • 1-12 Feb: CV Clinic

      Want to stand out, appear professional, make that good first impression? We have a number of advisers who can help you with your CV:
      • Susan Bird, Careers Consultant, University of Edinburgh
      • Stephen Smith, Careers Consultant, University of Strathclyde
      • Katrina Gardner, Careers Manager, University of Glasgow
      • Philip Ireland, Careers Adviser, University of St Andrews
      • Vishanti Fox, Careers & CPD Manager, Institute of Physics

      Each adviser has provided their availability, please book a slot using the scheduler tools here. (Please note, in the Scheduler, the "Teacher" is listed as Vicky Ingram, this is a quirk of the system, Vicky will not be on any of the calls!)

      We are hoping to also have a representative from industry, their scheduler will appear here once it's available.

      Once you have booked a slot, you should use your university's careers service to get the basics of a CV right, and send it in advance to, stating in the email which adviser you are meeting. This way, your appointment can be more effective and the time used more wisely. 

    • 15-25 Feb: Daily Discussions

      Each day we are giving you the opportunity to hear from people who work in a vast range of careers, all with PhDs, most of whom did their PhD in physics. Names will be added as they are confirmed so do keep checking back! By enrolling on this course you will automatically be sent the Zoom link for the discussions, but if you lose the email, this link will take you to the Zoom sessions (opens in new window).

      Monday 15 Feb

      1.00-1.30  Your skills and your career (30min intro on identifying your skills, thinking about your priorities and how to identify potential careers, with Prof Victoria Martin, Edinburgh and Dr Jonathan Keeling, St Andrews)

      1.30-2.30  Research & Innovation

      Stuart Fancey, Director of Research & Innovation, SFC

      Ian MacGillivray, Development Engineering Manager, Coherent

      Tuesday 16 Feb 

      1.30-2.30  Research & Innovation

      Ian Thomson, Leonardo

      James Bain, Innovation Business Unit, M Squared Lasers

      Wednesday 17 Feb 

      1.30-2.30  Research

      Elsje Van Es, Higher Research Scientist, NPL

      Euan McBrearty, Research Fellow, University of Glasgow

      Thursday 18 Feb

      1.30-2.30  Physics and Life Sciences

      Ewan Hemingway, Scientist, Canon Medical Research Europe

      Pauline Hall Barrientos, Clinical Scientist, NHS

      Friday 19 Feb

      1.30-2.30  Business Development and Intellectual Property 

      Matthew Wasley, Knowledge Transfer Network

      Kate Adamson, Patent Attorney, Marks & Clerk

      Monday 22 Feb

      1.30-2.30  Science Communication 

      Margaret Harris, Industry Editor, Physics World

      Jamie Gallagher, Freelance Communicator and Engagement Professional

      Tuesday 23 Feb

      1.30-2.30  Third Sector & Public Sector

      Craig Dalzell, Head of Research, The Common Weal

      Sara Diegoli, Associate Director, QuantIC

      Wednesday 24 Feb

      1.30-2.30  Education & Teaching

      Ian Menzies, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland

      Jennie Hargreaves, Physics Teacher, Lockerbie Academy

      Thursday 25 Feb

      1.30-2.30  Computation & Coding

      Patrik Hallsjö, (Consultant) Product Owner Autonomous Logging, Scania
      Ana Andres-Arroyo, Senior Data Scientist, Tessella

      • This topic

        Careers Fair - 26 Feb

        Everyone who has contributed over the last month is invited to come together in Gather Town, a virtual conference space, to meet one another and chat. Similar to an in-person Careers Fair, the organisations that have been represented these last couple of weeks will have their own spaces and you can walk around the room to speak to them again. 

        From 1.30-2.30, meet us at the following link!

        Gather Town | Finding Your Future

        • Resources

          • Slides from Dr. Elsje Van Es File 4.2MB Powerpoint 2007 presentation
          • Patent Law information File 588.3KB Powerpoint 2007 presentation
        • Speakers, Week 1

          Monday, 15th February

          1 – 1:30 pm     Focus on Your Strengths

          Jonathon Keeling, Director of Post-Graduate Studies in Physics, St. Andrews

          Prof. Victoria Martin, University of Edinburgh

           1:30 – 2 pm     Scottish Funding Council

           Stuart Fancey

           Stuart Fancey

          Director of Research and Innovation

          Stuart is a graduate of the University of St Andrews (BSc) and Heriot Watt University (MSc and PhD), all in Physics.   His career has taken him to IBM in Hampshire, to Germany with a Marie Curie Fellowship, and to Livingstone to help set up Helia Photonics. Since 2005 Stuart has worked for the Scottish Funding Council, latterly as Director of  Research and Innovation.  Whilst with SFC, Stuart has helped create the Research Pools and the Innovation Centres.  His team is currently working to secure our world-leading research base for the long term in a changing and challenging environment.  Dr Fancey is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Society of Arts.

          2 – 2:30 pm     Coherent Lasers

           Ian MacGillivray

          Ian MacGillivray

          Development Engineering Manager 

           Ian MacGillivray joined Coherent Scotland in 2001 and currently works as an Engineering Manager within the R&D department with responsibility for end to end development of new laser products. He particularly specialises in solid state and fibre ultrafast lasers along with frequency conversion techniques in this regime. Ian has overseen the development of multiple complex laser products, particularly within the highly successful Chameleon family of femtosecond tunable lasers designed for biological imaging.

          Ian holds a MPhys in Optoelectronics and Laser Engineering from Heriot-Watt University.

          Tuesday, 16th February

          1:30 – 2pm     Leonardo

          Dr. Ian Thomson

          Principle Laser Engineer

           2 – 2:30 pm     M Squared Lasers

           James Bain

            James Bain

          Programme Manager, Innovation Business Unit, MSquared Lasers

          Dr James Bain is an Innovation Programme Manager in the Innovation Unit at M Squared. He gained his first degree in Physics from the University of St Andrews in 2006 and a Masters in 2007 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta before undertaking his industrial doctorate project and short post-doc with Rolls-Royce plc and the University of Strathclyde. Since joining the Innovation Team at M Squared Lasers in 2013 he has had technical, strategic and project management related oversight of an extensive portfolio of collaborative research and development projects.

          Wednesday, 17th February

           1:30 – 2pm     National Physics Laboratory

          Elsje Van Es

          Elsje Van Es

          Higher Research Scientist, NPL                                                                                   

           Dr Elsje Van Es is an early career scientist working as a Higher Research Scientist in the Nuclear Metrology group at the National Physical Laboratory  (NPL), Teddington, London. She completed an MChem in 2014 at Loughborough University specialising in radiochemistry. From there, she continued to work with her Master's programme supervisor as a PhD student affiliated with NPL. She completed her PhD on-site at NPL and naturally transitioned into a full-time researcher role. NPL is the UK's national metrology institute, and its focus is on developing and applying measurement standards, science and technology to support industry. As part of the Nuclear Metrology group, Elsje helps maintain and develop new radioactivity standards that are used for environmental monitoring, nuclear decommissioning, and medical radiation industries.

          2 – 2:30 pm     University of Glasgow

          Euan McBrearty

          Euan McBrearty

          Research Fellow, University of Glasgow                                                      

           Euan has worked in the Photonics and Space sectors for over 20 years. He has a degree in Applied Physics and a Ph.D. in Advanced Materials. Over the course of two decades, he has had a varied and interesting career working for DERA & QinetiQ, Helia Photonics, Clyde Space and the University of Glasgow.

          Thursday, 18th February

           1:30 – 2pm     Canon Medical

          Ewan Hemingway   

          Ewan Hemingway

          Scientist, Image and Analysis Group, 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 a wide variety of problems in computational fluid dynamics, several 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, an oilfield services provider. 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. I joined Canon as a scientist in the Image Analysis group where I’ve worked for about 2 years. During this time I have worked on a range of interesting problems, e.g., using deep learning for image segmentation.

          2 – 2:30 pm     National Health Service  

          Pauline Hall Barrientos 

          Dr Pauline Hall Barrientos PhD MSc CSci MIPEM

          Clinical Scientist

           After completing my PhD in Hadronic Physics (2012) at the University of Edinburgh I was accepted onto the Scottish Clinical Scientist Training scheme in Glasgow. I successfully registered as a Clinical Scientist in 2016, specialising in MRI physics. My work will vary day-to-day with responsibilities including:  quality control of MR images, development of safety policies and frameworks for staff and patients, clinical reporting of quantitative MRI scans, development and optimisation of clinical protocols, teaching and training for students, trainees and radiographers, an active role in research and development and translation of research techniques into clinical practice.

          Friday, 19th February

          1:30 – 2pm    Knowledge Transfer Network

          Matthew Wasley

          Matthew Wasley

          Knowledge Transfer Manager, Photonics

           I started my career as a defence scientist in what later became QinetiQ, moving from science to project management and business development. I worked briefly for an organisation called the Defence Diversification Agency transferring defence technology for commercial civilian applications, before moving to a knowledge transfer role at the University of Birmingham. I then moved to Scotland and SUPA, working on knowledge exchange in a broad sense including public outreach as well as more traditional commercial activity. Since 2016 I've been part of the Enabling Technologies team at KTN, looking particularly at photonics.  Here I help companies to grow by developing collaborations, supporting the innovation process, and enabling access to funding and finance.

          2 – 2:30 pm    Marks and Clerk

          Kate Adamson

          Kate Adamson

          Patent Attorney, Marks & Clark

           Kate is a chartered (UK) and European attorney at Marks & Clerk, one of the world's leading patent and trade mark attorney firms.  She works on a wide range of patent cases in physics, electronics and engineering, including medical imaging, medical devices, signal processing, renewables, telecoms and computer-implemented inventions.  Before retraining as a patent attorney in her mid-30s, she was an antenna scientist/engineer in the defence and telecoms industry.  She has a MSci in theoretical physics from St Andrews and a PhD in high-energy particle physics from Durham.

          For more information on becoming a patent attorney, see:

 is external)

 is external)

          • Speakers, Week 2

            Monday, 22nd February - Science Communication

            1:30 – 2pm      Physics World (Institute of Physics)

            Margaret Harris, Industry Editor

            Dr. Margaret Harris is an online editor at Physics World, the international monthly magazine published by the Institute of Physics. She joined Physics World in 2008, initially as its reviews and careers editor, and went on to spend three years as industry editor before moving into her present role, which involves writing and editing news stories for the magazine's website. Before becoming a science journalist, she earned a PhD in experimental atomic physics at Durham University.

            2 – 2:30 pm    Freelance Communication Specialist 

            Jamie Gallagher, Freelance Communicator & Engagement Professional 

            Jamie is an award-winning freelance communicator and engagement professional with ten years’ experience in the delivery and evaluation of quality engagement projects. Working across dozens of institutions and subject areas he has helped improve the reach, profile and impact of research engagement in almost every discipline. As a science communicator Jamie has appeared regularly on TV and radio, written a book and appeared on stages around the world.  

            Find Jamie on: Web  Twitter YouTube Twitch 

            Unboxing Sci Comm


            Tuesday, 23rd February - Third Sector & Public Sector

            1:30 – 2pm     The Common Weal 

            Craig Dalzell, Head of Policy & Research

            Dr Craig Dalzell spent nine years at the University of Strathclyde studying an MSci in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics and then later a PhD in non-linear optical fibre sensors, finally leaving in 2011. He then spent a few years working in a couple of Glasgow's laser production companies and through that had the opportunity to visit a great many airports, taxis, hotels and laser labs in some of the world's most beautiful cities as he travelled to install and repair lasers. This came to an abrupt end at the tail end of 2015 but through a strange series of events over the course of the following year he found himself working in the world of politics and lobbying through the "think and do tank" Common Weal where he is now their Head of Policy & Research. 

            2 – 2:30 pm     QuantIC, University of Glasgow

            Dr Sara Diegoli, QuantIC Programme Manager, QuantIC Strategic Projects Manager, University of Glasgow

            Dr Sara Diegoli is Strategic Projects Manager at the University of Glasgow and Associate Director for QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging. QuantIC is one of four Quantum Technology Hubs established by the UK government in 2014 to accelerate translation of quantum science into industrial innovation.

            Sara has a background in science and engineering and has worked for over 10 years at the interface between university and industry.


            Wednesday, 24th February - Education & Teaching

            1:30 – 2pm      Education Scotland

            Ian Menzies, Senior Education Officer                  

            After gaining his Honours Degree in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics from Strathclyde University, Ian Menzies trained as a Physics and Maths Teacher and spent time teaching in Zambia and Malawi as well as Scotland. Following his time in Africa, Ian coordinated the educational programmes for one of Scotland’s leading international aid and development agencies. He is now a Senior Education Officer within Education Scotland, the executive agency of the Scottish Government which has responsibility for quality and improvement in Scottish Education. Ian’s remit includes lead responsibility for the science curriculum for 3-18 year olds and the promotion of learning for sustainability across the curriculum. Within Education Scotland, he also leads on the implementation of the national STEM Education and Training Strategy.

            2 – 2:30 pm     Lockerbie Academy

            Jennie Hargreaves, Physics Teacher and Freelance IoPS Coach 

            If you'd like to contact Jennie with any questions about her amazing experiences, please contact her direct on 


            Thursday, 25th February - Computation & Coding

            1:30 – 2pm Scania 

            Patrik Hallsjö, Product Owner, Autonomous Logging

            Patrik Hallsjö is a former PhD researcher from the University of Glasgow. Before and during his time here he was heavily involved in software development and machine learning. After his graduation he has developed further in these areas and is currently working as (consultant) product owner for one of Europe's largest autonomous vehicle manufacturers.
            Patrik can be contacted on LinkedIn.

            2 – 2:30 pm  Tessella 

            Ana Andres-Arroyo, Senior Data Scientist

            Ana studied undergraduate physics at the University of Zaragoza, then did a physics PhD on the topic of optical tweezers at the University of New South Wales, followed by a postdoc at the University of Cambridge. During her time in academia, Ana used programming languages such as Python, Matlab, and LabView to collect data in the lab and also analyse the data. She now works for Tessella as a data science consultant, where she combines her scientific background with her programming knowledge, to solve real-world problems for clients. 
            Ana can be contacted on