Behind First Light Fusion is a team of nearly 100 talented scientists, engineers and technicians – from a range of backgrounds but all united by a passion for realising fusion energy at scale.

In our new ‘meet the team’ series, each month we will be introducing you a different member of our talented team working at First Light – hearing about their route into the industry and finding out what it is they love most about working on fusion energy.

1. What is your role at First Light Fusion?

I am a scientist in First Light’s experimental team. This means I plan, carry out and analyse the data from experiments to benchmark our simulations and test our fusion targets.

2. What did you do before FLF and why did you want to join the First Light team?

After I graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Physics, I initially went on to work as a software developer for six months for a digital marketing company.

However, I soon realised I wanted to return to physics so I enrolled in the MSc in Fusion Energy at the University of York and, through this, did a summer project with First Light. I really enjoyed working with the team here, and I loved working towards fusion which I truly believe will solve the climate crisis. I also like how fast-moving, exciting and interesting the research is. Coming back after my degree was a no-brainer!

3. What most excites you about the future of fusion energy?

I’m excited for the day fusion energy is on the grid – clean energy, with no greenhouse gases in sight, will truly change our world. I’m also very excited to see our workforce grow and become increasingly diverse and inclusive. I hope the work we do with local schools and students will encourage and inspire the next generation to study physics, whatever their background might be.

4. What advice to do you have for someone interested in working in fusion or physics?

My advice would be to keep reading the articles, papers and books that interest you, and reach out to people who are already working in the field you want to be in. Keep searching for opportunities and always take them when they come up. Most of all, believe in yourself and keep doing what you enjoy!

5. You lead First Light’s equality, diversity and inclusion committee – can you tell us about what the committee does, and the importance of building a diverse workforce?

First Light’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) committee work to improve the diversity of our workforce and ensure that every single person that works here feels welcome, included and valued. We do this by organising guest speakers, providing training, and coming up with new ways to improve our culture and company. A diverse workforce has been shown to be more productive and, in an innovative industry like ours, we need everyone’s ideas and opinions to get the best results and make fusion energy a reality.

6. When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?

I like to play badminton, go for runs, hikes or bike rides or go swimming. I also read a lot of books – any genre I can get my hands on! I play a bit of piano and also enjoy knitting, sewing and any other crafts I can find. My favourite thing to do is play with my pets – 2 guinea pigs called Proton and Neutron.

7. What is your favourite thing about working at First Light?

One of the great things about my job is that every day is different, and I’m learning new things constantly. I’ll never be bored when there is more physics to learn! Knowing that I’m working towards a climate friendly way to power the world also motivates me every day.