Prior to joining IDCORE Callum had spent eight years as a physics teacher. He had known he wanted to go back into academia in a research post and had assumed this would be in astro-physics the subject in which he did his first degree. However, he was inspired by the children he was teaching to explore opportunities in energy and its role in addressing climate change. He came across IDCORE whilst exploring low carbon research options centred around renewables.
It wasn’t just the location that made Callum choose Wood Group as his project sponsor, he relished the opportunity to work with a large multi-national company. They have a huge range of capability and experience from the wide range of locations they operate in, and there are added benefits from working with a company that doesn’t just specialise in renewables. The breadth and depth of the IDCORE training have increased Callum’s confidence and set him up well for coping with these new experiences.
It was IDCORE’s year of training that appealed to Callum. He knew it would help him transition back into academia and give him the time to explore which area of renewable energy he really wanted to focus on. With a baby on the way, the higher stipend was also appealing, along with the potential to stay in Scotland’s Central Belt close to the support of family and friends. Although IDCORE’s operational model cannot guarantee a particular sponsor or research location, the centre is very committed to inclusive recruitment from diverse backgrounds.
Callum’s project is focussing on the use of hydrogen in the energy sector and in particular the routes used for transporting it. The project is still in its early stages, but he has the flexibility and freedom to explore areas of research without the constraints of being an employee. He is currently looking at thepossibility of publishing a review of systems for transporting hydrogen alongside having undertaken a review of hydrogen policies across the world, including a summary of the Scottish Government’s hydrogen strategy. Ultimately the project should deliver a valuable consultancy tool to his sponsors.
Like many of his colleagues, Callum identifies the residential course at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban as a highlight of the programme, but this is not the only one. The diversity within his cohort, the range of knowledge this brings, and the sharing of experiences in different organisations are all enhancing his journey towards an EngD qualification and an exciting future career.