Career Profiles: Adrian Collins

1. What were the main ‘career decision’ milestones in your life so far?
My background is in applied physics and instrumentation which really defined the rest of my career. A degree in physics not only teaches you about physics but also teach you about critical thinking and problem solving. Those formative years learning physics and how real science is performed has undoubtedly shaped the rest of my career.

2. Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
Typically I’ll say my parents have been my biggest influence. Not in a direct leading way but more in a supportive way to allow me to find what I’m interested in.

3. Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
Yes. A work life balance is very important. I’m a very sporty person so my work needs to allow me to pursue that too – which thankfully it does!

Questions about your current Job
4. How did you go about getting your current job?
I don’t believe in luck, I believe that hard work will give you certain opportunities – it’s up to you to take them. I got my current position by being in the right place at the right time – getting to that right place is all about hard work.

5. Describe a typical day?
My current position is a mixture of research and development of education materials for teaching science. So I really don’t have a typical day. I work on various projects at the same time. Each project requires lots of work and lots of meetings so each day is new and interesting.

6. What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
Research is my main passion. This requires careful development of experiments, designing equipment, carrying out experiments, data analysis and most importantly documentation. Every researcher is responsible for each step in the process.

7. What are the main challenges?
Funding is always a major challenge. Trying to figure out how fund your research is difficult but necessary.

8. What’s cool?
Figuring stuff out, large data sets, stuff not making sense, late nights, early mornings, making stuff work.

9. What’s not so cool?
See challenges…

10. What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
Problem solving, analytical thinking.

Questions about education and training
11. What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
Physics, Engineering, Maths and English have probably been most influential in my career. English may seem out of place but effective communication is vitally important for an effective researcher. It’s great to be able to figure out some cool new technology but without the ability to tell others efficiently and effectively, your discovery is very limited.

12. What is your education to date?
B.Sc. (hons) in Computerised Instrument Systems
Ph.D. in Applied Physics and Instrumentation

13. What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
Problem solving, critical thinking and effective communications.

Questions about yourself
15. What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?Publishing peer reviewed papers is the key metric for any researcher. They act as a milestone for your research as well as a vital moment where you can share your work. These moments are most rewarding.

16. What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
Cool head, analyitical thinking and most of all an inherent interest in how stuff works.

17. What is your dream job?
Type here…

Advice for people thinking of this job as a career choice
18. What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
I think for any job it’s important to talk to the people who are actually working in the field.

19. What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Perseverance, interest, enthusiasm

20. What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?
I think any science background

Quick Profile Questions
What is your star sign?
I don’t believe in that nonsense and neither should you!

What is your favourite music?
90’s brit pop stuff – let’s say Blur & Oasis

What is your favourite film?
Currently Gravity.

What is your pet hate at work?