Christopher Clack

Christopher Clack

The credentials of the lecturing staff and the research arm of the University speak for themselves. World class academics equal a world class University.

Course: Mathematics (4 Years) [MMath]

Course dates: 2002-2006

Current occupation: Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

What is your current role title, organisation and your main responsibilities?

I am a Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I am team lead researcher on weather driven renewable energy development within the USA and I integrate research projects to existing NOAA goals.

Please summarise your overall career since graduation, but in particular, what was your first relevant role to the area in which you work now and how did you secure that position?

After graduating from the University of Manchester I researched solar physics for my PhD at the University of Sheffield. The PhD built elegantly on from the studies I carried out at the School of Mathematics at Manchester.

Following the PhD I moved to the USA for a postdoctoral position in solar physics researching and predicting space weather events and impacts. This developed more mathematical skills and drew on many aspects of the mathematics courses I took at Manchester.

My first postdoctoral position allowed me to apply for a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) postdoctoral position at NOAA on renewable energy, which is a highly competitive scheme. Once I took the postdoctoral position I integrated well and, with the diverse mathematical knowledge I gained from Manchester and onwards, became a valuable employee with very unique skills. After 10 months in the position, with NOAA, I was promoted to Research Scientist (level 2) where I became the team leader for the current project.

How has your qualification helped you in your career?

The course I took at Manchester allowed me to do a PhD in solar physics. Over that though, the teachings on the mathematics course have helped me over and over again in all my positions and have given me an edge.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Submitting the study we are doing currently to science journals.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing a similar career route and what skills/experience do you consider to be necessary?

The main advice is keep accumulating any knowledge (in whatever your subject area) you can, at the time it may seem irrelevant, but in time it could become an asset and an edge in a tough and competitive research field.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Manchester?

The blend of sports, sociability and academics. It is the perfect melting pot to make successful careers in the future. The sports and social sides may be underplayed by most universities, but it really builds character and the exposure to so many diverse personalities really sets you up for employment down the road.

Why would you recommend the University as a good place to study?

The credentials of the lecturing staff and the research arm of the University speak for themselves. World class academics equal a world class university. Moreover, all the academics seemed (at least in my subject) to be approachable and willing to help mould the next generation.

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