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Salford PhD alumni: scientific software engineer (Oakridge laboratory)

by Fiona Christie on April 22, 2010

Stuart Campbell completed his physics PhD in 1998. He chose to study at Salford because it “was a friendly department with a good reputation.”  He is now a Lead Scientific Software Engineer at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) situated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US, and gives the following advice to students considering their future:

“The first decision is whether a student wants to stay in academic circles or venture into the ‘real’ world.  This is quite an important decision to make after your research degree as it is not always easy to jump between these worlds later on. The PhD is a good bridge between ‘being taught’ and the world of work. It also fosters independent working – finding out things for yourself.

I enjoy physics – sad I know – but my subject meant I had a job  within six months of completing my PhD. I have worked at three major international research facilities, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Diamond Light Source and I’m now at the SNS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory where I write scientific software for a neutron scattering facility. I enjoy the ability to use my brain to develop new software that helps researchers perform experiments better and produce world class science.  For the future, I just want to remain interested in my job and continue enjoying what I’m doing.”

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