I originally trained as a theoretical solid state physicist, working for my Ph.D. in the Theory of Condensed Matter group in the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University. Since then most of my work has been in Computational Fluid Dynamics, so it is a pleasant surprise to find myself at RAL as Team Lead for the PACE project, which aims to make data analysis of neutron scattering experiments in ISIS even more accessible than before.
Between these two solid state career events, I worked successively with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority making part of the safety case for the UK Pressurized Water Reactor, then at Imperial College creating the SPEED code for analysis of flow and combustion in Diesel engines, at Ricardo Consulting Engineersdeveloping Diesel engine simulation further, and at Flomerics working with its electronic cooling and thermal stress software.
My most recent work in flow simulation has been for the oil industry, working at Schlumberger with its ECLIPSE and INTERSECT simulators in Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery, looking to calculate the effects on oil flow of the addition of polymers and surfactants to the water injected into the field to reduce the amount of oil left in the ground. I also worked on the Direct HydroDynamic simulator for calculation of multiphase flow at the pore scale. This uses a different kind of density functional theory for representing the phase separation between oil and water, and one of my hopes is to connect this back to the density functional theory used in solid state physics – once PACE is properly deployed and in use.