I have always been fascinated with how things work. As a child I would dismantle anything mechanical or electronic to understand how it worked. Coming from a rural part of Wales and a frankly uninspiring education, I left school feeling that my options were limited. I chose to train as an electrician and quickly started work as a domestic appliance engineer, ironically putting back together many of the things I destroyed as a child.
In my late 20’s I reached a point where I felt I needed to do something different, more engaging. I was stuck in a loop and I needed a change. I was looking on the internet one night and saw an advert for a charity rally across Africa, called my mate Jay and before we knew it we were driving from London to Cameroon in a 25 year old, 1 litre Ford Fiesta. [Read more]
When I returned I decided I wanted to go to University and expand my horizons, so applied to read Computer Science at Southampton University. After a foundation year and three more years of hard work (and two children) I passed with a first. It was during my time at Southampton that I met Enrico Costanza, my supervisor. He introduced me to the field of HCI and encouraged me to start a PhD under his supervision. It only occurs to me as I write this that really my interest in how mechanical and electrical things work, is the same as my interest in how people interact. People are just a part of how a system works and my fascination is simply with the way systems work.