Royal Society of Edinburgh/Scottish Government Research Fellow,

Assistant Professor, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences, Heriot-Watt University

Tel: +44 (0)131451 3345,,

Participating in the 2015 Scottish Crucible has been a truly enriching and inspiring experience. Following the Crucible, I was part of a team being award funding for the Crucible project “Play to Promote”, which involved mentoring a student group at Abertay for developing a science outreach computer game. This was not only great fun but has also resulted in a visually stunning puzzling game “Orbs” letting the player experience some of the strangeness governing the quantum world.

Above all, Crucible has given me confidence and encouraged me to keep pursuing interests along cross- and interdisciplinary lines. I am sure it will continue to have influence and a positive impact on my research and career trajectory. To list a few specific recent successes and activities with relevant links to the Scottish Crucible:

– I am a Co-I on a major multi-institutional EPSRC grant worth over £1m with the aim of developing quantum sensing approaches to ultimately become applicable to biological cell membrane imaging. Incidentally, this project also includes my experimental colleague and 2010 Cruciblist Dr Jonathan Leach.

– building on the outcome of the Crucible project Play to Promote, I have run an outreach event at the Scottish Festival of Physics, and will be returning with Orbs to the Family Fun Day at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

– since my Crucible participation, I have had input into four newspaper and magazine articles ranging from the scientific to the popular press (Physics World, ArsTechnica, Swiss Sonntags-Zeitung) — in three cases to give an expert opinion and in one case covering my own research.