Arthur Tolley – PhD in Astrophysics and Cosmology
Without the University of Portsmouth, I have no idea where I would be. I've been given a lot of support in my choices and I'm confident I made the right decision choosing to pursue my PhD here.
Before my PhD research, I completed an MPhys Physics degree at the University and decided to continue my studies. I had a desire to learn more about the field of Gravitational Waves and develop data analysis skills for a future career.
I'm a part of the Gravitational Waves research group, which is within the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG), and the leaders of the group are all experts in their field and widely regarded. This gives me confidence that I'm getting world-class training and education to allow me to become a world-leading researcher who can contribute to the development of my field.
Since starting the course, I've felt like I really understand what I'm doing. I've contributed to an international research project – the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). I've also learnt a lot of new techniques including how to code at an industrial standard, which is important for allowing everybody to understand your code and use it as effectively as possibly. My problem-solving skills have also improved vastly during my time at the University of Portsmouth – I'm confident that any issues I face can be conquered and overcome.
Everyone is so friendly at the University. If you're unsure about your studies and want an honest opinion of the University, I'd recommend talking to any student or faculty member.
ICG is a leading research institution and my research interests align perfectly. Portsmouth is also a member of the South-East Physics Network and DISCnet, which are amazing places to network and learn data-intensive science skills.
I spend most of my time on my research, developing my skills and reading the literature. I'm also aiming to do two three-month placements over the course of my PhD as a DISCnet student. During the pandemic, communication has become far more important and I now know how to approach and discuss topics with other people, whether they are other students, postdocs or faculty.
Aside from work, I'm an avid cook. I like to bake and experiment with new recipes. I also have a group of friends I constantly interact with and play games with outside of my studies.
Within my PhD, I'm looking to become a published researcher and to contribute to a newly developed package for Astrophysics and Cosmology. I'm only in the first year of my PhD so I'm hoping to continue and learn as much as I can before I start transitioning into a researcher. Hopefully within the next year, I'll be on my way to publishing my first paper!