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Neil Simrick


Graduated with MSci in Physics in 2006

Career progression

Since graduating with an MSci degree in Physics in 2006, I have successfully completed a PhD entitled ‘Patterned Thin Film Cathodes for Micro-Solid Oxide Fuel Cells’ (July 2010) at Imperial College London. This was particularly challenging since it was a change of field but my Physics degree provided a strong foundation for applied physical sciences.  In addition, the final year of the MSci degree provided invaluable real research experience that enabled a smooth transition to the PhD.

The PhD enabled me to attend conferences in Boston, Massachusetts, Lucerne, Switzerland and Toronto, Canada and I spent five months researching/collaborating at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

I have accepted a postdoctoral position in Tsukuba, Japan and hope to start some time in 2011 but this is not completely confirmed.  I eventually would like to continue working in research in industry.

What three things do you wish you'd known before graduating?
  1. What I wanted to do after graduating! The strong foundation of the Physics degree can actually be a weakness when applying for direct entry jobs where other candidates may have job-specific degrees.
  2. In relation to 1) the choice of final year project is crucial and can largely influence your career.  I think I got it right since my PhD was a combination of the ‘Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Storage’ Literature Review and ‘Nano/microfabrication’ related Major Projects.  I didn’t know this at the time but I simply opted for something that I was interested in.
  3. How competitive the job market is and what jobs particularly favour physics graduates.

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