"There are so many opportunities to learn, and it is nice to be able to think that the work that you are doing is contributing to positive outcomes on a national scale."
I originally applied to work at STFC as a summer student, because the advertised project (the applications of computational fluid dynamics to air quality research) was exactly what I wanted to study. Also, the project was based at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, which has a long history of being on the cutting edge of scientific research, so it was always on my radar as being an exciting place to work. I loved the working environment and culture so much that I applied to come back to Daresbury for my Industrial Placement Year!
I work in the Computational Science and Engineering Division of STFC’s Scientific Computing Department (SCD), as part of the Engineering and Environment group. My group develops and uses a wide range of scientific software to address engineering research questions, in partnership with both academia and industry. As an Industrial Placement Student I have been allocated to a specific research project; my project focuses on the application of computational fluid dynamics to modelling pollutant dispersion within the home. A typical day for me includes planning, designing and running computational simulations, data analysis, and documenting progress to be reported to my supervisor and the project’s academic partners. Although we receive a huge amount of support and guidance, IP students at STFC are given quite a lot of autonomy in the day-to-day managing of our projects, meaning that we can really start to experience what it feels like to work in a professional research environment.
There are so many wonderful things about being based at SCD Daresbury! But if I had to pick just one, I would say that being in such a diverse research community means that there is not only a huge amount of support for development within the area in which you are working, but also for exploring other areas and even for cross-disciplinary projects.
STFC creates a very supportive and structured environment where personal development and wellbeing is very clearly prioritised. There are so many opportunities to learn, and it is nice to be able to think that the work that you are doing is contributing to positive outcomes on a national scale.
I have received HPC user training, including training in the use of ARCHER2, the UK’s National Supercomputing Service. I have also received a range of software and code-specific training, and been trained in the use of the Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI).
I am a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) working group. STFC takes the creation of an inclusive environment very seriously, and the SCD working group acts to promote healthy workplace practices and ensure that the STFC-wide vision of “STFC for all” is an integral part of our department.