Physics Alumnus Ian Howard Moth (1970)
Ian Howard Moth (BSc PGCE CPhys MInstP) graduated in 1970 with a BSc in Physics. He is currently a physics teacher at Ryde High School
When I was 18, I drifted into physics and mathematics as it was the obvious thing that I was good at and enjoyed doing. Strathclyde was my local university. I lived at home (Bishopton) and came into Glasgow each day by train. I admit to being extremely naive at that age. I would not have done anything that I have done without that initial qualification. I don't recall any actual "facts" learnt at University that I have remembered and used, rather, it was the basic understanding of how the world works, and that everything behaves in a rational and connected manner, that was important.In other words, I wasn't trained - I was educated.Those years at Strathclyde were the most enjoyable in my life - I mean that sincerely. I feel enriched having known the people I met there. I was treasurer for the Physics Club and had the opportunity to mix more than I would have otherwise.
In my career, I've worked in a variety of places. I started at Yarrow Shipbuilders, Scotstoun, doing basic R&D in shock, noise and vibration - on computers before PCs were invented! I subsequently joined the Navy but resigned almost immediately (it’s not for everyone!) and then I worked for two years as an engineering draughtsman for Howden Compressors before moving to Barr & Stroud to work on Thermal Imagers.
Eventually, I moved to the Isle of Wight to join what was then Plessey Radar. I stayed with Plessey for 17 years as it became Siemens, working on electro-optics, atmospheric physics, communication systems and electronics, radar. By the end, I was a project leader and manager.
Unfortunately, the bottom dropped out of the defence industry and I was made redundant. I went on to spend a short term working as engineering manager (electronics) of a small consultancy (Inovex, Winchester) and did a little contract work (proof of concept work for "Coolchip") in the USA for a firm called Borealis Technical. I then took up teaching and worked supply for 2 years before working for a small IT consultancy on the IOW as general manager for several years.
Three years ago, I was lured back into teaching, first at a private school and more recently at Ryde High School. At the same time I have a small business providing software solutions (databases) for small businesses on the Island. I presently teach 6th form and year 10 physics. Ryde High School caters for a wide range of students, including very committed and intelligent students, but also to some with tough "challenging" behavioural problems. All teachers derive satisfaction from seeing a student understand some concept for the first time. Every day brings something new when you're teaching. In my other job, delivering a tried and tested working project is very satisfying.
Away from work, I am an actor on the amateur stage. I am also a radio amateur and build electronics and radio communications equipment. Motorcycling is another hobby. Family commitments take up most time though.