Physics Alumnus Simon Andrews (1992)
My first job was with a company specialising in microwave technology, designing and prototyping components for mobile phones, radar and missiles. I went on to have roles in design, development and production engineering and then operations and R&D management with a variety of medical device companies. I have worked with medical lasers, heart valves, liver cancer ablation, blood flow meters and cervical cancer screening. Last year, I took on a business development role at the Institute of Photonics. I interface between the researchers and industry to help identify new projects and make good use of the intellectual property, which we have generated.
Whilst in industry, it was very satisfying to take technology from universities through development and clinical trials to market. It was daunting but very exciting to see 'my' new products being used in operating theatres for the first time, really helping people. Now I have the satisfaction of seeing things from the university side, as the economy benefits from our research. I particularly enjoy the way the IOP interacts with so many other science and engineering disciplines.
I chose Physics for the slightly odd reason of not knowing what sort of Engineer I wanted to be. I had assumed that I would specialise later, but in fact, it allowed me to work effectively with a wide range of products. My degree was so useful because in working in small spin-outs and start-up companies it was essential to understand all aspects of the devices at a fundamental level.
Strathclyde gave me a solid background in physics, which gave me credibility with employers and customers alike. The degree course offers the right combination of theory and practical work with the flexibility to take interesting electives not just in physics and maths but in many other departments. And the social life in Glasgow is second to none.
Away from work, my interests include golf, music, photography and hill-walking.