- Course: PhD in Atmospheric Physics
If you remember, please briefly comment why you chose Leeds for Postgraduate Research Degree Study?
After completing my undergraduate degree in the USA, I was seeking an opportunity that would allow me to take the quantitative and numerical skills that I acquired from my undergraduate degree in General Physics and directly apply them to the fields of Earth and Atmospheric Science. Leeds University provided me with the unique opportunity to study both these disciplines in a department that has been internationally recognised for its research. In addition, the city of Leeds created a great environment to learn and socialize.
How do you think a PhD degree has helped you develop both personally and in your career?
The PhD degree has trained me to think independently and solve complex problems in a time efficient and productive manner. To this day, I still use the quantitative skills that I acquired throughout my degrees at Leeds University. The PhD also helped improve my presentation skills, my writing capabilities, and my overall work productivity.
Please give a brief profile of your career path to your current job:
I first completed my undergraduate degree in Physics and Math at Skidmore College, USA. I also spent one of these years studying Engineering at Dartmouth College, USA. After my undergraduate studies, I moved to Leeds to study in the MRes “Physics of the Earth and Atmosphere Program”. I then went on to complete a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. After graduating, I moved back to the USA and was hired as a Wind Resource Scientist at a Wind Development Company. In my current position at the company, I am responsible for conducting desktop feasibility studies to determine the best locations to install utility-scale wind turbines. I also oversee the in-house wind resource efforts—which include met tower installations, turbine layouts and wind resource assessments.
What are the challenges and rewards of your current job?
Pursuing a position as the lead scientist in a career outside of academia comes along with many challenges and rewards. Making the initial transition into a new industry was challenging; for example, I was required to learn new terminology, software programs and general industry best practices in a short period of time. Because Wind Development is a relatively new industry in the USA, best practices are constantly emerging and it can often be difficult to keep up with the latest information. Having said this, the job is very exciting as you constantly observe the benefits of your hard work pay off in the form of renewable energy being produced for thousands of homes by hundreds of 400-foot wind turbines.
What direction do you want your career to go in the future?
In the future, I would like to continue my work in the renewable energy sector, with particular emphasis on wind resource assessments and numerical modelling.