Deborah Rushton

Research Analyst

Deborah Rushton

The Physics with Astrophysics course involved a lot of hard work, but I felt very much supported the whole way through by lecturers, tutors and course mates.

After completing a Physics with Astrophysics [MPhys] and a PhD in Astrophysics at The University of Manchester I went on to a career as a Research Analyst in the aviation industry.

Studying at Manchester

The undergraduate Physics with Astrophysics course material was excellent, and there were lots of interesting lab experiments. I particularly liked having options in the third and fourth years on which labs to take – I was able to use the undergraduate optical telescope and also analyse X-ray data of a supernova taken with a professional X-ray satellite. These labs ultimately helped me decide that I wanted to do a PhD in Astrophysics.

The Physics with Astrophysics course involved a lot of hard work, but I felt very much supported the whole way through by lecturers, tutors and course mates.

On-going career

Although I did my PhD in Astrophysics at Jodrell Bank Observatory, I have always been interested in aviation and decided that I would like to work as an analyst in this field. Towards the end of my PhD I joined the University of Manchester’s career emailing list and received a job advert for the science graduate scheme at National Air Traffic Services. I was accepted for a job in the Operational Analysis Department as this utilised the analytical skills I had acquired during my degree and PhD at Manchester.

When my husband got a new job in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2010, I had to leave NATS, but wanted to remain working in the field of aviation analysis. As there were no relevant jobs in industry in the area, I found a position at Chalmers University of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher. The job involved establishing a new research area in air traffic management in the Applied Mechanics Department. It didn't matter that my PhD was in a different field – the skills were transferable.

Thinking of choosing Physics at Manchester?

I would highly recommend this course as it allows you to develop so many transferable skills, which are very attractive to many companies.

Although Physics has more teaching hours compared with some other courses, this meant that I got to know my course mates really well and have made some lifelong friends.

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