A few pubs here and there, some science companies and even an oil company
Robotics Research Group, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
I work in a field called machine learning, where I design motion and control models and systems, that accurately mimic human motion and behaviour.
I try to create models that accurately reflect and describe human motion. These models will eventually be passed to various medical devices (such as exoskeletons, the suit that Iron Man uses, to help people walk again) so that they can one day be used to help disabled people regain function.
My Typical Day
I write a lot of code, and do a lot of maths, and I try to figure out how we best use the two to do something useful within my field.
When I get into the office in the morning, I have usually just come from some form or training be it running or rowing. I typically start of by having a shower. Rather remarkably our building has several showers, so that students and staff can refresh before starting work. It is actually amazing. After that I usually spend a good 30min just procrastinating, drinking coffee and reading the news.
Following all of that, I get on with my work. Now this usually involves understanding and implementing a whole load of maths into computer code. Depending on the difficulty of the task, this can take me anywhere from an hour to a week. I usually jump between several mini project so I do a bit of code and reading for one project, then I jump to another, and then back again.
My day is usually interspersed with a talk or two as well. We are very lucky where I work because the Engineering department is very close to the maths, physics and computer science departments, this means that we can pop over for a talk whenever we want to. Often there is a good number of things worth listening to.
After doing all of the above for a few hours, I head back to my college in the evening for dinner. I am not going to lie, but dinner is probably one of the highlights of the day. It is made even better by the fact that I do not need to make it.
What I'd do with the money
I would probably invest it in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research.
The reason I landed in my current sphere of research was directly influenced by MS, which is an inflammatory disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. It makes people very ill and it often leaves them unable to use certain, and sometimes all, of their body parts. I think this is a very worthwhile area to invest the money in, because the technology that we could potentially develop, would be very useful for so many other areas of life too.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Invent thing that people genuinely find useful
What did you want to be after you left school?
Well that was a tough one. I started a maths degree initially but found it so boring that I only did it for a year. After that I was rather a bored with academia so I decided to work for a year to regain some inspiration. During that year I wanted to be a sailor, a chef, a pilot and at one point even tree-surgeon. But I landed on engineer in the end.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Often, mostly for trying things that were not supposed to be tried (you could say that I was just being curious)
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Pub owner. In fact I would probably be a pub manager, where I had several independent pubs up and down the country.
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Drove to Mongolia from England
Tell us a joke.
What kind of shoes do ninjas wear? Sneakers.