Chris Cox

Current student

Course
PhD Student
Study area
Physics

The world today poses numerous questions for the future. Constructing answers to those challenges is the underpinning role of Physics. Science and innovation are needed like never before, I wanted to be a part of that.

Please outline your research project

I produce thin metallic films with thicknesses on the nanometer scale for inclusion in thermoelectric devices, which convert waste heat to electricity.

What were you doing before you started your PhD?

Before starting my PhD, I graduated from Loughborough with a Joint Honours in Sports Science and Physics.

Why did you choose Loughborough University?

Loughborough University to me is the epitome of hard work. From the department staff and researchers to the students; everyone strives to be the best. It felt inspiring to be a part of such a machine making waves throughout the research community.

What do you enjoy the most about studying a PhD with us?

The flexibility that comes with a PhD has enabled me to find my strengths (and weaknesses) as a researcher. The university provides a plethora of seminars, research talks and personal development short courses to help a PhD student become the very best they can be.

Describe what it is like to study a PhD, and how this differs from undergraduate/masters study

From the first week, the PhD teaches you to become more independent and self-reliant that ever before. Long nights in the labs or days in office crunching data makes your work personal and your work becomes a large part of who you are and who you will become.

Describe a day in the life of a PhD student

I get in to work around 7.30am before the rush of the work day starts, collecting data from equipment I had run over night. At around 10am, I meet with my supervisor to discuss the plan for the week, before heading back to the office for some data analysis. I spend roughly 90% of my time between the labs and offices with the rest made up of teaching, seminars or workshops run by the team in the Graduate School. The day ends (later than I care to mention) setting up experiments to run over night for collection the next day.

Why did you decide to undertake a PhD in your area?

The world today poses numerous questions for the future. Constructing answers to those challenges is the underpinning role of Physics. Science and innovation are needed like never before, I wanted to be a part of that.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself working my way to the forefront of a Physics Department down in London, networking with researchers around the world and sparking collaborations with the finest minds of our age.

If you could give one piece of advice to a future PhD student, what would it be?

Hold nothing back, whether that’s staying late and working like a maniac for 3 years, or attending as many conferences as you can. Take the PhD by the horns.