Physics Alumna Fiona Wilson (1991)
Fiona Wilson (1991 Applied Physics) - Radio Systems Advisor at Nortel
I found physics both challenging and interesting at school. The Physics/Applied Physics department was a very close knit and friendly place where great friendships were formed and learning seemed to be something we did together not in competition with each other. In addition, Glasgow is a great city for student life.
Nortel is a telecommunications equipment provider and I have worked in the Radio Technology Labs of Nortel since graduation. Two parallel and equally well-rewarded career paths were open to me within Nortel, technical specialist or people management. I chose the technical specialist route and I now work at the forefront of mobile communications technology research from 2G through to 4G systems. Currently, I am developing advanced antenna processing techniques, which aim to increase the capacity of the next (4G) generation of mobile communications.
For me, the most satisfying aspect of my job is interacting with the customers (mobile operators) to perform trials of new equipment on their networks or simply to educate them on the latest radio access communication techniques. Also very satisfying is coming up with novel ideas many of which we file as patents. I have performed equipment trials with operators in many regions of the world. Perhaps the most exciting was a new antenna system installed and trialled in Israel, which gave excellent results and a great opportunity to work closely with people from another culture. My physics degree gave me the thorough grounding in scientific thinking that I rely on day to day to analyse and solve problems.
I now have a young family so I hope to be able to continue to build upon my reputation as a technical expert while balancing this with family life. Outside of work, I am interested in conservation and the environment (my Applied Physics degree has been relevant in this too). I take part in woodland conservation tasks around my local area.