News & Media

Guess Work – Melanie

Can you guess what scientific job Melanie does from her answers to various questions about her work? Watch the video and look out for the clues!

A summary of the clues

  • In this job, Melanie might be at home writing or preparing a talk, or out speaking somewhere, or finding out things or doing her own research in a far-off land!
  • The craziest item Melanie has ever worn is a gigantic down jacket and trousers because it was almost -40°C!
  • A laptop is essential, sometimes skis and crampons and on rare occasions, even an ice axe!
  • She knows how to make magnets smaller
  • Melanie’s workplace has doughnut-shaped machines with metal coils around them inside cages
  • This job cannot be described in just three words
  • The work is related to energy
  • Melanie has travelled around the Arctic
  • Iron Man researchers were interested in where Melanie has worked!


Did you work it out?

Melanie’s job is a Plasma Physicist (and speaker and writer), specialising in fusion energy and the aurora. She uses Physics every day in her job – usually telling people something about it. Melanie has always liked playing with things, doing experiments, and seeing how things work.  She says she always knew she wanted to study Physics as a subject, even before her GCSEs, although she didn’t know quite where it would take her.

Melanie studied Physics, Maths, Further Maths and Economics at A-Level. She then went on to study Physics at university. And just look at what an exciting job she has now! Essentially, she translates the technical work that the scientists do to make it accessible to a general audience.

It’s completely ok to choose a subject you really like, especially if it’s Maths or Physics, and then find a career to suit it afterwards because there are so many different jobs you could do – and new jobs are being invented all the time. You don’t have to follow the crowd – you can study whatever you like, just like Melanie did!

Maybe you could become a fusion expert too, or if not, then studying Maths and Physics can help take you other places!