Our PhD students go on to a wide range of careers, from postdoctoral research posts to exciting roles in industry. On graduation day, we caught up with Andrew Oxley who studied for a Mathematics PhD at Surrey and is now working in financial modelling for Nationwide building Society.
Why did do your PhD at Surrey?
I studied for the MMath Mathematics degree course at Surrey before my Mathematics PhD. The main reasons I chose Surrey in the first place were the campus atmosphere, which is very nice and welcoming, and the people I met when I came for an Open Day. The academics seemed really friendly and it was just a much more welcoming place than some of the other universities I’d looked at.
After my masters year, staying at Surrey for my PhD was a natural progression. Professor Ian Roulstone (the Head of Department) had supervised my masters research project and was also my PhD supervisor.
What’s your PhD all about?
It’s about weather forecasting. I’ve looked at modelling early stage cloud growth, and what kind of optimal spacing there could be between clouds, using a very analytical approach. My interest in the maths behind weather forecasting was sparked in my third year when I studied modules on weather theory and thermodynamics. I’ve always been more of an applied mathematician than a theoretical one, and weather dynamics are an interesting application of maths.
What else did you get up to at Surrey?
I competed in Olympic-style weight lifting while I was at Surrey, for which I trained at Surrey Sports Park. I lived in student accommodation in Cathedral Court and later in Manor Park. I liked the fact that everything was within walking distance: you could walk into town, to the Sports Park, everything was nice and near.
What’s next for you?
Well, I’ve already been working for a year at Nationwide Building Society in financial modelling. I’m definitely applying what I learned during my PhD, although not in the weather field this time. It’s a different problem but in the end, everything comes down to maths. Having a PhD has certainly helped me to progress much faster and given me more natural authority.