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Dan, Graduate Computational Physicist

How long have you worked at AWE?
I’ve been at AWE for one month

What did you study at university?          
Theoretical Physics (Bsc. & Mphys)

Why did you choose AWE?         
AWE provided the opportunity to work in a hands on physics environment at beyond the forefront of current academic research. It also offered structured support to grow as a scientist and professional with chartership and funded development. AWE makes a tangible difference to both the UK defence and scientific infrastructure, I wanted to be part of an institution that mattered.

Tell us about your time at AWE?
My time at AWE so far has been developing my knowledge and working to understand the processes involved in how computational physics fits in with the rest of the research groups. So far I have mostly been looking at existing codes and running tests to simulate various conditions to understand their capabilities and how they are used.

What are the benefits of AWE?
A real benefit of AWE is the support you have to grow and build connections. AWE has world leading scientists and technology so there are many training and educational courses on everything from high level physics to leadership. AWE also allows for opportunities to travel to conferences and other functions. AWE really invests in its staff and offers so many opportunities and projects to get involved with.

What do you most enjoy about your current role?
What I enjoy most about my role so far is that I can learn the new content and languages necessary by doing my own small projects with support from my team. I am expanding my understanding so quickly by talking with my colleagues about their experiences and their own research interests. I am also enjoying submitting tests and simulations and seeing the results, being able to use incredible technology like the super computers after only being here a short time is an amazing experience.

How do you see your career progressing?           
After finishing the graduate scheme and seeing other parts of the science group through placements I would like to do a Ph.D part time. AWE has fantastic links with many universities due to shared research goals which can be explored. While I do that I would like to try smaller projects with different groups, build a strong case for chartership and gain leadership experience. After that I would like to move into a team leader position and carry on upwards from there.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining the AWE graduate programme?
The advice I would give is to go for it and keep in mind that this is a truly unique environment to work in that offers opportunities found nowhere else in the world. So even though the security clearance process and application can be long, it is very worth it when you arrive.

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