I live in rural Norway. I work from my home doing research and volunteering. Many hours of my day are spent outside.
I lived in Bristol for 3 years before coming to Norway. Before that, I lived in the USA. We’re going to live in New Zealand from 2023-2025. Here in Norway, I am surrounded by mountains and national parks. My wife and I enjoy backpacking, skiing and the quietude of our small town.
Lots of times, we want to know (or at least have a guess) at how complicated chemical reactions might work before we try them. I use computers to perform simulations of the chemistry. That way we can try to understand better how to build the big machines that actually make stuff. So, I have to understand lot of physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, engineering, and even business and economics so that I can make sure that my work is useful to someone else.
My Typical Day:
I work from my home. So I set my own hours and every day is different. I even plan my day based on the weather – if it’s nice outside, I work a shorter day. Usually, though, I work from 7 AM – 12 PM, have a long break in the middle of the day to go running or skiing, then I work again for a bit in the evening.
Sometimes I’m working by myself. That means writing computer simulation software, performing computational “experiments”, and A LOT of reading and writing of research. Some days I’m in meetings online with colleagues. The teams that I work with live in Norway, Spain, the UK, and the USA. It’s helpful for me to have these friends in so many places, especially since it can be hard to be working alone in front of a computer all day.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would like to start a speaking stipend, so that I can compensate individuals from under-represented groups to join me for online STEM career sessions. The money would be for paying those guests for their time and expertise.
University of Maine, USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
University of Bristol, UK
Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry (with Honours)
PhD in Physical Chemistry
Laboratory Assistant, DNA synthesis lab, age 16-18
Greenhouse worker, age 19
Chemistry teaching assistant, age 19-26 (during university and PhD)
Chemistry lab researcher, age 20-31 (during university, PhD, and after)
Research and group leader, age 32-36 (“traditional” job at a research lab)
I own and operate a company called “Soldrevet Chemistry”. Soldrevet is a Norwegian word meaning “solar powered”. I work with businesses who are trying to make new materials for batteries. We’re trying to make them using smart resources, using energy-efficient processes, and put them into products that are helpful for using in renewable energy technologies.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Calm, hungry, outside.
What did you want to be after you left school?
A chemical engineer
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Never 1) need money, 2) have health problems, 3) be hungry