Gemma Hughes

CIT Division

"I would definitely recommend the graduate programme to anyone who loves a challenge and likes to solve complex problems."

I have a degree in mathematics and started working at QinetiQ as a Graduate Military Networks Researcher in October 2013. I always thought that maths would give me plenty of career options but before I got offered the job at QinetiQ I never imagined that it could lead me into a job where I would spend most of my time analysing computer networks, a field in which I had no experience. The problem solving skills and logical thinking I picked up throughout my degree have proven to be a real benefit in picking up the required knowledge to work in this field.

The majority of my time at QinetiQ has been spent working on Ministry of Defence (MOD) research programmes, investigating future military communications systems. I've completed work exploring the best way to optimise high latency satellite communications and helped inform MOD policy decisions on how and when to implement this optimisation. Such work typically involves developing an experimental plan, carrying out testing, analysing results using various traffic capture and analysis tools and then presenting the results back to the customer.

Alongside this I've had the opportunity to work on a number of other projects. I've analysed the reliability of military satellites, tested various pieces of hardware and software to determine their capability and wrote a technology tracking paper, researching an emerging technology to investigate if it could be used by the military. Currently I'm helping to build and test a concept demonstrator for a computer system that can provide the communication services needed by the military in a much more efficient way than the current systems.

I'm currently coming towards the end of the graduate programme. It's been great to work on a wide variety of projects, picking up lots of new skills. I would definitely recommend the graduate programme to anyone who loves a challenge and likes to solve complex problems.

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