• Question: what are you working on

    Asked by sept499spy on 24 Jan 2024. This question was also asked by make1cue.
    • Photo: Amber Villegas - Williamson

      Amber Villegas - Williamson answered on 24 Jan 2024:

      Hiya, this week I’m teaching a class (adults) on procedures and processes to manage Data Centres better. Next week teaching experienced people how they can design better sites and then I’ll be going to Spain to check out an upgrade that has been done on a site to make sure the site still operates as per the design. I’m also working on my kitchen as I need to remove some cabinets, seal the concrete and level the floor before new cabinet arrives.

    • Photo: Zoe Vance

      Zoe Vance answered on 24 Jan 2024:

      At the minute I’m working on improving a method for detecting the virus that causes polio. The idea is that we’ll have a faster method for diagnosing polio in people that have symptoms and need to be tested and also for keeping an eye on how it might be circulating in the community by testing waste water. My colleagues had this most of the way there before I started on the project but I’m working on designing some experiments to check how sensitive the testing is and to see if we can do more exact detection in cases where different strains of the virus are present. I’m also trying to design bingo boards for an activity I’ll be running in April about how viruses jump from animals to humans, lots of variety in this job!

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 24 Jan 2024:

      At the moment, my group are trying to understand how complex organic molecules are formed in space through chemical processes that use iron atoms as catalysts. Catalysts are substances that increase the speed of chemical reactions. We are breaking new ground in astrochemistry through what we call astrocatalysis. The molecules we want to make are those that contribute to the chemical inventory from which life evolved.

    • Photo: Lauren Graham

      Lauren Graham answered on 24 Jan 2024:

      I help run an Inorganic chemistry lab that tests water to make sure our environment is safe, as well as drinking water to make sure people are safe too!

    • Photo: David Bremner

      David Bremner answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      I work on nutrition so looking at what people eat and how it impacts on their health.

    • Photo: Erin Pallott

      Erin Pallott answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      I am currently working on how the cells that produce mucus in your gut (goblet cells) change when you have a parasite infection! This week specifically, I am getting ready to mentor a new student, and we will do a cool project together!

    • Photo: Adam Washington

      Adam Washington answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      My recent work has been on a program to help other scientists understand the results of their experiments. As I’ve said elsewhere, they’re experts in their field of study, but not necessarily in neutron scattering. My job is to help them understand the data that they collect so they can answer the questions that are *actually* important.

      For some very big samples that the scientists want to study, it can take months to perform this analysis. What I’m working on this week (and probably for the next few months) is trying to allow these calculations to be performed on the computer’s graphics card. That should allow these calculations to be performed in a day, instead of a month. Besides allowing the scientists to continue with their work faster, not having these computers run all month can improve our carbon footprint.

    • Photo: Hannah Fawcett

      Hannah Fawcett answered on 26 Jan 2024:

      Most scientists have a number of projects on the go at once! I work in a university as a senior lecturer in psychology. I am working on publishing a paper that looks at how 3D printed models on murder victim’s remains can help jurors understand expert evidence in court. I am also studying the impact of this type of evidence on jurors’ wellbeing. I am conducting work with politicians to try and improve wellbeing support for jurors in England and Wales – they get no support despite the distressing information they may be forced to hear and see, and providing expertise to the media. Finally I am teaching students, supervising PhD students, writing new degree programmes, and making sure our existing programmes run smoothly. It’s safe to say working as a lecturer is varied and busy!

    • Photo: Tom Kitching

      Tom Kitching answered on 28 Jan 2024:

      I’m working on a few things.
      One is to assess the design of a gas engine project that produces short term electrical power when the country is using the most power (normally during Coronation Street when everyone boils their kettles).
      One is to assess the design of an energy from waste plant. This burns your bin waste to produce electrical power.
      And there are a number of other similar things I’m working on.

    • Photo: Paula Proszek

      Paula Proszek answered on 29 Jan 2024:

      I help find ways to diagnose cancer earlier and less invasively, checking for signs of cancer in blood samples, with deep sequencing (genetic sequence reading) and methylation (genes’ silencing).

    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 31 Jan 2024:

      Understanding how we can make Wikipedia and her sister projects more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible for everyone.

    • Photo: Margaret Laurie

      Margaret Laurie answered on 9 Feb 2024:

      I’m setting up a project where I chat to children and young people about LEGO clubs – I’m trying to think what I want to learn from them and what the best ways to ask questions are. I’m going to develop some applications so that we can get some extra funding and support from other organisations.