Name: Chris Goff
Job title: PhD student in Solar Physics
What education and qualifications do you have?
4 A-Levels and a 2:1 Masters degree in Physics with Space Science and Systems
Give an outline of your career so far
My undergraduate degree was a taught degree with a practical final year project, which gives you many of the contacts you will use much further into your career. It was while doing this course that I became involved in high powered rocketry and managed a team which won the National Rocket Championship. This project taught me many skills which I use every day. Following this I applied for and accepted a Ph.D. place at MSSL
Why did you choose this career path?
It was the rocketry experience that led me to apply for a Ph.D. The project had reminded me why I enjoyed science. It was the art of problem solving. Every aspect of the rockets we built was a problem of some sort and each of the experiments on-board gave us new challenges. It was the finding of solutions which really made me enjoy the whole project.
What does your current work involve?
My current work involves the analysis of data from SOHO and Yohkoh. Both are satellites designed to study different aspects of our dynamic sun. My investigations focus on solar flares, in particular the relation between magnetic fields and X-ray emission. The data from these satellites comes in many forms and much of my work involves looking at and analyzing this data in the form of high resolution images. By looking at flares in many different wavelengths you can begin to build a complete picture of an event and go some way to understanding the physics involved. In addition, as part of my studies I have been given the opportunity to attend and present work at international conferences. In October of 2002 I attended COSPAR in Texas. These trips give you the opportunity to meet and discuss your work with other people within your field. These are an important part of the whole Ph.D experience.
Hobbies and interests outside work
I try to keep my hand in with the high powered rocketry although finding the time can be hard. I also like to be involved with many of our public outreach projects at MSSL. Other than this I like to keep up with all the latest movies.
Chris was awarded the PhD in 2005 and embarked upon a career in industrial research.