The University of Southampton

Charlotte Grinyer MPhys Physics, 2016

Thales UK Research and Technology

Charlotte's placement at Thales UK was based around the area of underwater explosions, or UNDEX, her project was to research the theory to produce a model and an algorithm.

Working at TRT has definitely helped me to see where I want to be in the future, and how I need to get there!

How would you describe a typical day?
A typical day involved data processing, reading and comparing research papers, writing code to model equations and discussing the implications of this with my supervisor. This was then used to improve the model that I was developing. Towards the end of the placement, this changed more into refining the model, as well as report writing and preparing to give a presentation at Thales, as well as for the SEPnet expo.

Why did you decide to do a placement?
I was unsure of where I wanted to take my physics degree- both of what sort of topics interested me, and what sort of career I would like to have. This inspired me to apply for placements as I hoped it would broaden my horizons on the opportunities out there.
This particular placement appealed to me because the area of research, mine hunting and underwater explosions, sounded interesting, and different from anything we had seen in lectures, but still had fundamentals in classical mechanics, wave physics etc.
It was quite programming heavy, an area in which I wanted to improve, however it also involved a lot of maths, something that I knew I enjoyed.

Would you recommend doing a placement?
I would definitely recommend doing a placement- even if it’s only to see if that sort of job is what you want! I have really been inspired by my placement, and it’s been a great way to spend 12 weeks of my summer. Placements also give you better prospects when applying for jobs in the future- it shows interest in physics outside of the degree. It has been a brilliant way to not only learn more physics, but also more about the physics and electronics industries.

How do you think doing a placement has benefited you for the future?
I think the placement has benefited me in that I have learnt lots of skills such as programming and I’ve improved my physics knowledge, but it’s also benefitted me as a person in ways such as confidence - presenting at the end of my placement and working towards this has been extremely helpful. It has also inspired me to want to work in a physics based job and to get the most out of my degree- and this placement has brought me one step closer.

Do you have any plans for the future?  If you do, what are your next steps?
Working at TRT has definitely helped me to see where I want to be in the future, and how I need to get there- the next step is to work hard and to come out with a great degree from Southampton University!

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