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  • Role: Research Scientist

Alison Holmes

What’s a typical day for you in QinetiQ?

There are no typical days for me! Sometimes I will be working in the computer lab writing algorithms and running analyses. Other days I will be presenting in customer meetings, or coming up with ideas for new projects.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

A year after I joined QinetiQ I was asked to assess two pieces of technology for insertion into a future weapon. This involved liaising with the technology manufacturers to ensure that I fully understood their systems so I could create synthetic models to assess their performance. I presented my results and progress to the MOD and industry successfully. The project was challenging because I not only had to demonstrate technical knowledge and skill but communicate the complicated results to a wide audience of people.

What’s been your most exciting project?

My team received some internal funding to create a demonstration of some software. We bought an XBOX Kinect sensor which acted as a cheap 3D sensor and demonstrated that the work we’d done in simulation would work in the real world as well. We took the demonstration to a technology showcase where members of industry and MOD viewed our work. I got to explain the team’s capability and present on the technology.

How has your development progressed since you started?

I’ve had lots of opportunities to try new things and take responsibility for my own work. I spent the first 6 months helping on other peoples projects and then took the opportunity to work in a technical area that required somebody with my mathematical background. After a year I was put on the ‘Accelerated Development’ programme and I have regular mentoring meetings with the commercial director of my area which teaches me about the wider QinetiQ business.

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