Dr Andrew Robinson
Research Area: Energy efficient embedded systems Ė low power computers inside everyday objects
What is it like being a scientist?
Great! Especially when experiments work! And those moments far outweigh the frustration when they donít! I really enjoy coming up with something new and seeing it work.
What inspired you to become a scientist?
I was attracted to science and engineering by the creativity Ė the chance to create something new and solve problems for people. If Iím honest it seemed better than getting a Ďproperí 9-5 job.
What is the best thing about being a scientist/your job?
Since computers are embedded in so many things it means Iíve got involved in all sorts of projects. I really love getting a glimpse of other disciplines. One of the main things Iíve worked on is the use of computers in entertainment technology. This has taken me backstage all over the country and means Iíve met loads of interesting people.
What do you do in your free time?
I donít get much free time as Iíve always got something interesting to do Ė itís the downside of when work doesnít seem like work! I go hill walking if I want a break from technology, or play badminton for fun. Iím very curious and find interest in lots of things so will try almost anything, and have done so, with varying levels of success. Currently, I think it would be fun to build my own canoe. Luckily, I do own a life-jacket.
What is the first science you remember doing?
I remember building a working model of a lighthouse aged five at school. Other notable moments in my academic career include; stinking the kitchen out with red-cabbage juice to measure acidity aged nine, splattering potato across the conservatory aged 12 and filling the school science lab with smoke.
Whatís the funniest/strangest/most surprising experience you have had in your career?
Taking a two metre rocket on the train to a launch site led to us getting some funny looks.
What discovery or invention could you not live without?
I think the work done on electromagnetism 150 years ago is really important Ė yes we could exist without the knowledge, but think how different the modern world would be without electricity and radio. No TV, Internet, electric motors, no MRI scanners, no exclamations of ďIím on the trainĒ or tweets about the shopping habits of celebrities.
What do you think is the most important thing yet to be discovered?
Weíve got some understanding of the big bang, but Iím curious what will finally happen to the universe. Can we do anything about it, and will it change