UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory
UCL Logo

Physicist Programmer

Name: Matt Whillock

Job title: Physicist Programmer

What education and qualifications do you have?

10 O's, 3 A's, BSc, MSc

Give an outline of your career so far

I worked on the human genome mapping project at Addenbrooke hospital's MRC unit in Cambridge, using parallel programming techniques for chromosome mapping. After that I sailed across the Atlantic from Gibraltar, via Morocco, Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands before ending up at Barbados. Spent another 3 months sailing in the Caribbean before coming back to the UK and unemployment.

At MSSL I have worked on: Flight software for the FONEMA (Fast Omni-Directional Non-scanning Energy Mass Analyzer) instrument on the Mars-96 mission (failed to leave Earth orbit and crashed in the south Atlantic, November 1996); Flight and ground software for the Optical Monitor instrument on the XMM mission, successfully launched December 10, 1999; Ground software (EGSE - Electrical and Ground Support Equipment), spacecraft simulator and on-board bootstrap software for the EIS (Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer) instrument on the Solar-B spacecraft, scheduled for launch 2005. Also responsible for data reduction and analysis for this instrument.

Why did you choose this career path?

Certainly not for the money... Very specialized and demanding - software that I write will be in space until the end of the universe... (perhaps). Foreign travel is a bonus with this job, for attending instrument integration with the spacecraft and launches.

What does your current work involve?

Writing lots of real-time embedded software, making the PC appear as a spacecraft to the EIS instrument.

Hobbies and interests outside work

Enjoy sports, music (jazz & classical), amateur astronomy and drinking lots of beer.

Matt hard at work

Mullard Space Science Laboratory - Holmbury St. Mary - Dorking - Surrey - RH5 6NT - Telephone: +44 (0)1483 204100 - Copyright © 1999-2005 UCL

Search by Google