Aurora Health Physics Ltd
What qualifications do you have?
MSc Radiation and Environmental Protection
Tell us about your job
How would you describe your current role?
I help lots of different companies who use ionising radiation to work safely and ensure that radiation doses to staff are kept within the limits set out within the law. My job is split roughly evenly between site visits (anywhere in the UK) and office based.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I get to go out to lots of different companies, projects and locations and meet a wide range of people. Perhaps I'm just nosy but I love going to new projects and seeing innovations across a huge range of industries.
What do you enjoy least about your job?
Sometimes there's lots of long report writing. Also some of the site visits are outside in the winter!
Who or what inspired you to follow your particular career path?
I had a great Science teacher at middle school who just taught us to always ask questions about how things work. Also, during various trips during sixth form and university we often saw scientists at work stuck in labs and offices - the work they do is often invaluable but I wanted to do some 'real-world' science where I could get out and about. I cornered one of the lecturers on my MSc course to ask about a placement for our summer dissertation. I completed the three month project at Aurora, and asked if I could stay on as a Health Physicist / trainee Radiation Protection Adviser.
What advice would you give to any young person considering a STEM career?
If you have no idea what you want to when you grow up, then I would say try and go for a spread of different types of subjects. Subjects like foreign languages, or even performing arts can actually give you great skills for a career in Science later on (I made myself take Theatre Studies because I was quite shy and didn't like speaking in front of people - it gave me more confidence and communication skills which are essential in my current role). Try contacting Health Physics based companies to see if there any opportunities to learn on the job. Whatever you choose, find people who can help you and just keep asking questions - Radiation Protection is a friendly industry. If you would like more information search for The Society of Radiological Protection, specifically the Rising Generations Group who's task it is to support people new to the industry.