Graduate Success Story with George Parkes


Following the conclusion of this year's UK PONI Conference a couple of weeks ago, we sat down with George Parkes, who was privileged to give a presentation at last year’s edition of the conference. We spoke about his career development and highlights as well as his pride at presenting at the UK PONI conference. Here’s what George had to say:

Tell us about your career development at MASS

I am enjoying my time at MASS; I’ve had plenty of opportunities to grow personally and professionally.  This has included role/system specific training, both in the UK and US at a number of organisations who support the program we work on. I’ve also had job specific skills training, such as statistics courses and software courses.

MASS has also supported more generic training for my career development, such as lean six sigma training (as I am part of our site continuous improvement team). I was also part of the inaugural graduate and talent development program in 2017, which included a number of one-day training courses across a variety of topics over the course of year. I will shortly be undertaking a mental health first aider course and have access to a full library of training on LinkedIn learning (which was especially useful during the early days of the pandemic).

What would you say have been the highlights of your journey at MASS?

  • I particularly enjoy the studies work that we undertake in the office. This is mentally stimulating and allows me to utilise all the skills I have gained (both at university and on the job).
  • A particular highlight was attending a US operation (being embedded with a US analysis team) as training for an upcoming UK operation that the UK analysis team will be supporting. This was an amazing honour and demonstrated the close ties we have with our friends and colleagues across the pond.
  • I have also thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the UK PONI, with the particular high point being attending the UK/US PONI bilateral exchange in 2019. This included briefs and visits to a number of US facilities.

Tell us your presentation at UK PONI last year about?

Last year Joseph Campion and I presented on the topic of quantum gravity sensors (that utilise cold atom interferometry). The aim of the brief was to give a quick overview to the physics and engineering behind the technology as well as the potential uses of gravity sensing equipment, which is several orders of magnitude more sensitive than existing conventional sensors. If used appropriately these sensors can detect underground structures, they could also be used in highly accurate inertial navigation systems. This was all in 10 minutes so was a bit of a whistle stop tour of an incredibly interesting technology.