It's been over a year since I last updated this blog. 2016 was a difficult year both around the world and personally, which I won't get into here. But 2017 has started with much positivity and change.
In January 2017 I started a new position, returning to Bristol, the city and university where I lived for 9 years and studied for both my MSc and PhD. I am now teaching in the department of Physics where I did my undergraduate degree, which is a wonderful and strange experience.
Since starting, I went straight into lecturing (My first lecture was three days before my start date!), teaching a masters course on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, which involved lots of interesting discussions of materials science, radiation damage and the way fuel is made and disposed of in nuclear fission and fusion reactors. It was also very interesting to use my experience in the renewable energy industry to talk about climate change and energy policy, which is something I will be expanding on next year's course - the choices of how we power the electricity of networks of the future is a fascinating and vital debate.
I will also be designing a new Introduction to Materials Science course for the Physics undergraduate course, which will be great fun, especially designing some practicals to do in my classes! I really enjoy teaching, and it's a real pleasure to do more of it in my new role.
I'm also still doing research, and will be returning every now and then to Oxford to do some experiments with atom probe tomography, which is a technique I find both fascinating and enjoyable. I'll also be adding in new techniques to solve materials science challenges, including high speed AFM developed at Bristol, X-ray diffraction and tomography, NanoESCA and electron microscopy.
I have continued to publish lots of scientific papers and even won an award recently - the Cook/Ablett award for publication of merit in the field of metals, from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), which was a great honour.
I hope to be a bit better about keeping this blog up to date. I'm still writing fiction, and the Maelstrom's Edge project is still going strong, with lots of exciting new models coming in the future. To a positive future!