I work on all woodwind instruments, with a specialization in bassoons, contrabassoons and all members of the clarinet family. I learnt clarinet with Gill Hopwood and later bassoon with David Chatterton (London Philharmonic Orchestra, retired), as a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal Academy of Music. David instilled a love of the technical side of the instrument in me. I attended Warwick University, reading Biochemistry after winning a Warwick University Music Scholarship, and stayed at Warwick, gaining a Ph.D in chemistry. This was followed by academic posts at Manchester, Sydney (Australia) and De Montfort Universities before joining Daresbury Laboratory in the mid 1990's.
Until mid 2008 I worked as a scientist at the Synchrotron Radiation Source (a particle accelerator for making intense beams of x-rays) at Daresbury Laboratory. This gave me a strong grounding in hi-tech precision engineering, materials, computer control and computing, in addition my research in bio-inorganic chemistry. The Synchrotron Radiation Source, operated by the Science & Technology Facilities Council (one of the UK Research Councils) was the UK's national X-ray light source for more than 25 years. It ceased operation in June 2008 due to old age. It's significant scientific, technological and economic impact are detailed in a report entitled New Light on Science, which features my research project on the malaria parasite on page 52. After it's closure, I was offered a new position within STFC working on the design of 2 European mega-scale laser projects, ELI and HiPER. Exciting as these projects were, I decided this was the right time to become my own boss and left STFC.
I am a qualified project manager, with PRINCE2 Practitioner accreditation (now expired), and have co/authored more than 40 scientific and technical papers in refereed journals.