From a Pi to a PhD. A life-changing journey into academia

Four years and one week ago I wrote this blog post HERE which chronicled my earlier discovery of the Raspberry Pi and my journey over the last few years.  From gaining entry to an MSc. Computer Science degree programme at the University of Hertfordshire (which was my first serious attempt at academia) and finishing with distinction, to being awarded the funded PhD. studentship at the seriously cool lab at KMi this has been one roller coaster of a ride.

I have been truly privileged to work with some amazing peers and mentors at KMi over the last four years, I’ve attended conferences on 3 continents and have had the opportunity to listen and learn from the top academics in the domain in which I work.

And today, after four years, I reached the milestone that signifies *almost* the end of the journey and I have now submitted my completed thesis. 😀


Four years of my life, 246 pages, many many thousands of words.

And an awful lot of people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. To those who believed in me when the going got harder than I thought I could possibly deal with, and to those have always been there for me. Thank you.

And of course, to my darling wife. Who always told me this was possible, and who started her own PhD. journey last week. I simply would not be where I am today without her.

Moving forward I am now extremely proud to have been offered a post-doc role as a full time researcher in the same lab I have been in. I will be part of a European project investigating the Matthew Effect in scientific research. It’s related to part of the work I have completed for my thesis so provides a great opportunity to continue doing some of the research in this area. It relates to ensuring science and funding for science is equitable and fair, something that I believe in deeply. Link to project site HERE.

I still have a small matter of a viva (defence) to survive but I am far less over-awed by this than I have been previously, largely I expect due to the phenomenal amount of time, sweat and angst that has gone into the preparation of the completed thesis!

For now though, I think I shall try and switch off for a while. And it’s definitely time to build something as I’ve not had opportunity to make anything in a long time.

As a final note, surround yourself with people who think it’s possible. Not people who tell you it’s impossible. The difference is truly remarkable.

Until next time….



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