Ross High School 1997-2003, University of Edinburgh 2003-2016(undergraduate and PhD)
University of Edinburgh – PDRA
Solid Form solutions – solid form screening team scientist
University of Strathclyde – PDRA, research fellow
Post-Doctoral research fellow
I live in Edinburgh with my wife and two lovely daughters (2yr old and 4 yr old) who like to keep me very busy. I am a scientist with an interest in materials that are crystals and especially those that are pharmaceuticals (medicines). At work I try to find out way to let us produce crystals types that we want and also to crystallize brand new things too
I live in Edinburgh with my wife and two lovely daughters (2yr old and 4 yr old) who like to keep me very busy. I am a scientist with an interest in materials that are crystals and especially those that are pharmaceuticals (medicines). At work I try to find out way to let us produce crystals types that we want and also to crystallize brand new things too. During lockdown(s) I have been at home the majority of time and have managed to spend a lot more time with the girls which has been amazing. I enjoy to go flyfishing, which is not possible in the current circumstances of Covid :(, so instead I find myself going walks and doing DIY around the house in any spare time. I also love a good pizza, and we got ourselves a pizza oven at christmas time, this is quickly becoming a hobby of mine to spend time on, trying to perfect the pizza we can make at home from scratch!
My current work uses high pressure conditions (up to ~100,000 times atmospheric pressure!) to try and produce new crystal forms of materials. Particularly for pharmaceutical materials, the discovery of new crystal forms is important because they might be better for patients than the current forms we use already.
When we make some new crystals at high pressure, we use laser light, neutron particles, and xrays to figure out what the crystal form is and how it has changed.
The experiments can be very difficult sometimes and we cant do them using the equipment in our own lab and so we often go to big labs with special equipment and talented people to help us. This allows us to look at tiny crystals and powders using xrays, laser light and neutrons
My Typical Day:
A usual day in the lab would be making up some solutions, setting up crystallizations and picking out the nicest crystals and powders to do X-ray diffraction experiments with
What I'd do with the prize money:
organize some public engagement to do with light and lasers
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
sporty, clumsy and thoughtful
What did you want to be after you left school?
I did want to be a pilot for a while
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I got in to trouble a few times, but not too much.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Taking back sunday / guns ‘n roses – just depends on my mood
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wouldnt mind winning the lottery, I would like to go to space and I would like to make a big discovery some day!
Tell us a joke.
Q: What do you call a tooth in a glass of water? A: a one molar solution!