As an Assistant Technician at Sheffield Hallam University, I work in the wood and metalwork workshops to provide technical help to students and their projects. I come from a fine art background and previously worked as a Sculpture Technician at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Science and art have always been a huge element of my interests as they work well together. I use science to gain insights into different areas of knowledge and then find ways to access and communicate those ideas through creative outlets. This is also something that the RI has achieved very well in its science communication programmes by making complex scientific concepts understandable through the clever ways they are visualised.
After getting over the initial shock of feeling like an imposter on a TV set, I had an amazing time working on the Christmas Lectures. Having the creative freedom to respond to unusual briefs and creating some really fun props was brilliant. One of the highlights was making a functional exploding volcano with the chemistry specialist Jemma. There could never be too many explosions in the Christmas Lectures! Among many other fun projects I found myself learning a great deal about how to fabricate unusual objects that I'd never considered before and using different materials and substances that were more familiar in a laboratory than a workshop. Despite my lack of knowledge in some areas, this was a very welcome change to my usual day-to-day work. The experience was made thoroughly enjoyable and exciting by my fellow comrades from the RI Team: Fran, Dom, Mike, Jemma and Malc. Whether it was assisting with rigging up the set or trying to pump up hundreds of balloons 5 minutes before rehearsals, there was always something to keep you on your toes!