Skip to main content
School of Physics and Astronomy

Alumni Profiles

Mary Matthews, BSc Astrophysics

Graduated 2018

student profile picture

I have been passionate about Astrophysics ever since I was a little girl. There are many things I enjoyed about studying this degree in Queen Mary University. In particular the modules where I was able to put in practice my knowledge in physics. I also acquired many skills that allowed me to get a patent attorney trainee job very early after graduation.

For my end of degree project, I had the opportunity to use the observatory, where I imaged asteroids and variable stars. I was also awarded with an internship in an observatory in Crete (Greece). These experiences allowed me to further understand our Universe, which was my goal when I came to this University.

Furthermore, I received remarkable guidance from professors, as they are willing to help every step of the way. Finally, one of the things that made this course so great is that I was able to make many new friends from various countries.

Shrishmoy Ray, BSc Astrophysics

Graduated 2018

student operating telescope

As an international student, the welcoming and helpful nature of the academics at the School of Physics and Astronomy made my experience really comfortable. My dissertation project was on the study of the physical properties of exoplanets which I enjoyed thoroughly. The excellent system of tutorials and marked coursework offered by the school is what I believe helped me grasp the critical concepts of the modules.

In 2017, in the summer vacation I took one of the SEPnet internships, developing code for an Artificial Intelligence(A.I.) in the field of human resources, designed to have enough intellect to make hiring decisions. Using Machine Learning techniques, the A.I. could deal with new data and make decisions by finding similarity from its collected data set. With time and the analysis of more and more data, the A.I. could learn with or without human supervision, depending on the complexity of the involved data.

I plan to use these techniques in my future endeavours as an astrophysicist in places which demands the reduction in noise in data for clearer results.


Sabrina Alam, BSc Theoretical Physics

Graduated 2017

profile shot of student

The Queen Mary Physics department provided me with the support and confidence to maximise my opportunities both academically and professionally. The staff, the teaching and the student environment was invaluable in nurturing my motivation to learn and follow my passion.

Since leaving, I have graduated with an MSc from the International Space University in Strasbourg, have just completed an internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre and am now about to embark on a position with ESA at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. 


Naomi Marchant, BSc Physics

Graduated 2017

student profile picture

What I learnt from my time studying physics at university is not what you might expect. Yes, by the end of my degree I knew how to solve Schrödinger's equation, how to programme a robot and how to draw a Feinman diagram. But you can learn those things from a pile of books. What I learnt from QMUL was far more important.

I learnt what a physicist really looks like (Me! Or you! Anyone!). At QMUL, I had the opportunity to meet and work with brilliant physicists from all over the world.

I learnt the importance of working in a team to solve problems. Even the most superior professors work with a team of scientists; I learnt that physics can open so many doors for future careers; I learnt that with a bit of help, I can do anything I set my mind to. Thanks to the brilliant student support at QMUL; I learnt to love what I do.

And most importantly, I learnt that what I'm best at is teaching others about physics! I've now qualified as a Secondary School Physics teacher and I couldn't be happier in this profession.

From my second year onwards I started working for the Physics Outreach department as a student ambassador and I also volunteered as a student tutor at Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). It was through these roles that I recognised my passion for teaching and helping young people. 

Hopefully over the course of my teaching career I can encourage and support lots of young people to find what they're great at and the thing that excites them, in the same way Queen Mary did for me.

Laurence Still, MSci Physics

Graduated 2015

student profile picture

I came through clearing to do my Physics MSci at Queen Mary, it wasn't what I originally had planned, but turned out better than I could ever have imagined.

London is an incredible and exciting city to live in as a student and, with its campus feel, Queen Mary came to feel like home very quickly. The diverse and international environment at Queen Mary really gives you the confidence and creativity to think outside the box with your career. After my masters degree, I have moved to Denmark and work as an international consultant in Artificial Intelligence.

Ryan Hill, MSci Theoretical Physics

Graduated 2015

student profile picture

What did you enjoy about your time in QMUL physics?

Beyond the content of the degree itself; the culture of the department is fantastic. Staff and students alike are always really helpful and genuinely interested in learning and sharing knowledge, being surrounded by people who love what they do really made the difference. There's so much that the department and the university did to enhance the degree that meant it was a fantastic 4 years.

What do you do now?

I work as a Machine Learning Manager, which sounds more complicated than it is! I gather and clean data from our databases, attempt to model them using various methods, and then use that insight or those models to help improve the business in one way or another. I'm also doing a part time Masters in Data Science in the evenings to learn some of the more specialised parts of the subject and how I could apply them to what I do.

What things did you learn that prepared you for your current role?

Explaining complex ideas and results to less technical people is up there for me, I don't think I've done a single integral in over 2 years but I have to explain my work nearly every day. The maths, programming, and problem solving approach way of thinking that I learnt in my degree has also been invaluable and meant I could pick up new tools and methods a lot easier than I might have done otherwise. I always keep an eye-out for physics graduates in the business because they tend to have skills that can be applied to a lot of different work!

Any advice for current applicants? 

Be passionate and be interested; this will serve you well from applying up to graduation and beyond. Physics is pretty much just people doing experiments because they wanted to know how the universe works, so if you are interested then you'll fit right in!

Touhid Hussein, BSc Physics

Graduated 2015

What did you enjoy about studying in the School of Physics and Astronomy at QMUL?

There were many things but the main aspect was the sense of comfort. From the staff, the student support officer, the teaching, it all created an environment where you not only enjoy the content of Physics but also a department where everyone is approachable. For me, this was important, as I would be spending a huge chunk of my life here. There’s also an observatory!

What do you now? 

I work for Dun and Bradstreet, which is a business information company specialising in solutions for compliance, trade credit, risk, supply chain, and sales and marketing. My role as a Graduate Account Manager is to work closely with major customers in the Financial Services sector to understand the value of our current products and services to identify requirements for new applications or enhancements to existing ones

How do you think studying physics helped prepare you for your role?

Physics is fundamental for understanding how the world works and therefore carries with it a weight of recognition. By studying physics, I have gained a number of transferable skills such as numerical skills, analytical thinking and problem-solving. I found that employers are keen on people with a physics background because of this, especially problem-solving, as issues inevitably always arise and they would like someone to be quick and decisive to resolve any issues.

What next?

Find out about some more employers of our recent graduates.