More about Tommy
The quality of teaching in the physics department at NTU is excellent. All of the lecturers are very passionate about their fields, which makes learning easy and enjoyable. Another strength that NTU has is their fantastic experimental equipment. All first year physics students are able to use the observatory’s telescope, which is the largest in the UK and recognised by the International Astronomical Union. Any observations made here can be published without the need to be checked by another observatory.
The first project I undertook that made me feel like a physicist was in the Introduction to Laboratory Software module in first year. Here, I got the opportunity to build a physics based game for my end of module project. I’d never done any coding before university, so it was definitely a challenge, but I loved being able to sink my teeth into it. I was really proud to have a working product at the end of the year that my family was able to play on my laptop!
One of the most useful skills I’ve developed at NTU is the ability to logically break down a problem and apply a rational thought process. As well as being crucial in physics, this skill has been extremely valuable during summer employment when tasked with a complex issue as I’ve been able to approach problems from a different angle. I’ve also developed my mathematical and computational skills, providing me with practical programming experience if I choose to follow that route after university.
Studying physics at NTU has helped to develop my confidence. The welcoming environment which praises hard work and originality has allowed me to flourish and be myself. I feel lucky to be able to study with likeminded people under the supervision of internationally recognised lecturers.
This summer, I’ll be working with one of NTU’s lecturers on an atmospheric physics project using the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands. This was made possible by NTU’s Physics Undergraduate Research Scholarship programme, where students can apply for funding for a project under the supervision of a lecturer. This allows students to get valuable research experience whilst still at undergraduate level. It’s an incredible opportunity for those wishing to pursue a research path after university.
What I enjoy most about NTU is the ‘family feeling’ that the physics department provides. We’re treated like adults and the lecturers encourage us to refer to them by their first names. This fosters a great environment to learn in, allowing us to achieve our best. The friendly environment at NTU means that I can happily chat to lecturers about some cool physics I’ve heard about, and have even borrowed some books from the lecturers when I wanted to do extra reading outside of the syllabus.
After graduating, I wish to pursue a PhD in a Big Data related discipline using machine learning, and eventually go into industrial research. Before university, I knew I wanted to pursue some kind of physics research, however, it wasn’t until coming to NTU that I developed an interest in coding and how it can be used to solve all manner of physics related problems. For my master’s project I’m using machine learning to analyse vibrational signals related to a branch of medical physics. This will hopefully be a great platform for PhD applications when I graduate.