- Jim Kay, Head of Engineering
Q: What does your job involve?
A: It’s always interesting, I get to work in a unique environment. We’ve built 33 beamlines, each with different science involved, to generate individual bespoke engineering solutions.
Q: How did you get to this position?
A: I trained as a mechanical engineer. After 10 years of working in private industry at Shell Research Centre, I moved to a national science research facility, Daresbury Laboratory, and worked on accelerators in nuclear physics.
Q: Is this what you always wanted to do or expected to be doing?
A: I was a kid when they put a man on the moon. I was interested in rockets and space. I would go to my neighbours, who had a copy of Encyclopaedia Britannica and ask to read it, looking particularly at the rocket section. So I was interested in Engineering at an early age. I went to university to study engineering and I found myself working at Daresbury. The science done here is similar to the science involved in space engineering so for me that early attraction to space science has found fruition in this job.
Q: How would you encourage young people to get into this type of work?
A: In a similar way to how I was inspired I would encourage them to be interested in the technology of our age. If young people ask questions such as what is going on in their phone, as everyone has a phone in their back pocket nowadays, where could this be going next?
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: Being part of building Diamond! I have been in it from the beginning, I’ve seen it all the way from lines on paper and on CAD [computer aided design] to now. Followed closely now by recruiting all the good people here and seeing all the fun they are having.