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Kathryn, PhD student 

Kathryn, PhD student 

About Kathryn

Kathryn completed her undergraduate degree within the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics and later returned to Newcastle University in order to pursue a PhD as part of the Cloud Computing for Big Data Centre for Doctoral Training.

As Kathryn reaches the end of her studies, we asked her to take a look back at her time at Newcastle 

Kathryn

After I completed my undergraduate studies at Newcastle, I joined the Graduate programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment as part of the Materials Modelling group, and later the Computational Physics Group. 

My role involved designing and running large-scale high-performance computing jobs to model the physics of fluids. The ability to interpret results and communicate technical reports to different groups of people was important to this job. During this time, I worked with both experimentalists and external academics on collaborative projects. 

During my undergraduate degree, I was introduced to basic programming concepts and specifically the programming language Fortran which I later went on to use in my job. My final year project used analytical and numerical methods to study a simplified model of thermal convection in a fluid in the presence of a magnetic field. Exposure to concepts in fluid dynamics and differential equations through various undergraduate modules gave me a great background to the type of work that I went on to undertake. The experience of writing and presenting a dissertation in my final year also allowed me to develop technical writing and communication skills. The ability to communicate technical information effectively is an important part of any job. 

I think very highly of the School of Maths, Stats and Physics. The staff are all really friendly and helpful. My advice to anyone thinking about studying Maths would be to try and understand the deeper relevance of your subject and how it relates to the world beyond examples in textbooks. This will put you in a great position to really make the most of the knowledge and skills you will gain through your degree. Other than that, make the most of exploring Newcastle and the surrounding areas!