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Life After DoC

Be1c8a24b76f8b2b23f53eb22d401810?s=47 Imperial ACM
November 15, 2013

Life After DoC

What do you do with a BA in War Studies? In my case: an MSc and a PhD at DoC. These degrees in turn led to jobs at a number of academic and non-academic institutions, including at one point returning to the Department as a post-doc in the research group with which I did my PhD. In this talk I will discuss my experience of working in a variety of environments and reflect on how my time(s) at DoC prepared me for what was to come.

Be1c8a24b76f8b2b23f53eb22d401810?s=128

Imperial ACM

November 15, 2013
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  1. Life After DoC Nick Dingle 15 November 2013

  2. My timeline • 1996-99: BA in War Studies • 2000-04:

    MSc and PhD at DoC • 2004-07: Analyst at Dstl • 2007-10: Post-doc at DoC • 2010-13: Post-doc at School of Maths, University of Manchester • Currently: HPC Software Developer at NAG
  3. Am I the only one? (Royal Society, The Scientific Century:

    Securing Our Future Prosperity, p. 14)
  4. Dstl: Working outside academia • Dstl provides “sensitive and specialist

    science and technology services for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and wider government” • Sites across the UK; I worked in Portsmouth • Unique work environment
  5. Acronyms (http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2005-08-22/)

  6. Dstl: Working outside academia • Skills I brought with me

    from DoC: – Communicating ideas (written and verbal) – Time management – Problem-solving • Skills I developed at Dstl: – Project management – People management – Working with a mix of technical and non-technical team members
  7. (http://itrappedinwords.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/peter-pans-famous-quotes-5/)

  8. DoC again: Returning to academia • Worked as a post-doc

    with my PhD supervisor (Will Knottenbelt) in the AESOP group • Definite benefits to working in an environment where you’re already “known”
  9. Manchester: A second post-doc • Change of department (to Maths)

    as well as university – broadening my horizons • Work was directly related to what I did in my PhD (asynchronous solution of large sparse systems of equations) • But did it mean starting from scratch again?
  10. Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) • Provides high quality numerical computing

    software (e.g. the NAG Library) and high performance computing (HPC) services • Sells software and services but is a not-for- profit organisation with close ties to academia
  11. Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) • I am an HPC Software

    Developer • Support users of HECToR (UK national supercomputer) in porting, debugging and tuning their code • Opportunity to put in to practice the range of technical and non-technical skills I’ve developed in my career so far
  12. "Life is What Happens To You While You’re Busy Making

    Other Plans"
  13. None
  14. The two-body problem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-body_problem)

  15. The two-body problem (http://www.divched.org/blogentry/navigating-two-body-problem)

  16. Conclusions • PhD gives you extremely valuable skills beyond just

    the technical ones • Know what's important to you. Switch jobs if you aren't doing what you want to do • How does one decide what to do next?