Favourite Thing: To have the opportunity to inspire people with the excitement that comes from science and in particular the understanding of the human machine and how this can be a source of wonder.
Bolton Institute of Higher Education (1991-1993), University of Northumbria at Newcastle (1993-1996), Essex University (1997-1998)
HND (Business and Leisure Management), BSc Hons (Sports Science), MSc (Sports Science: Fitness and Health), Ph.D. (The Oxygfen Uptake Work-Rate Relationship : Factors Limiting VO2max and the Implications For Exercise Stress Testing in the Field
Exhall Grange School (1996-1997): Assistant Teacher of PE, Cambridge Regional College (1998-2000): Lecturer in Sports Science, Anglia Ruskin University (2000-): Lecturer in Exercise Physiology
Principal Lecturer: Exercise Physiology and Director of Research at the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences
Anglia Ruskin University
I live with my wife Lynne (we have been married for 11 years), in a 300 year old farm house, where there are holes in the walls and the floors are far from flat. We have a son (Daniel), yes it can get confusing who lives and works in Macclesfield as a design engineer. We have two dogs called Harry and Winnie, who are better than watching TV. Harry is a 4-year old Labrador who thinks he is still four months old and Winnie is a rescue dog, she is a cross between a Labrador and vizsla and is bonkers . We currently have 6 chickens, all of which are named after sci-fi characters and a cat called Nelson. I am a Sci-fi fan and a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan. As well as being an Exercise Physiologist I am a former Paralympic cyclist and competed for Great Britain in three Sports; swimming, athletics and track cycling. I am actually registered blind, I have what is termed optical albinism which means that I am very short sighted, what most people see from 20 metres away I can only see from 2metres away. This though has not stopped me pursuing my career and sporting dreams.
Principal Lecturer: Exercise Physiology and Director for the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences
I am an exercise physiologist which means I use sport and exercise to teach science and the functioning of the human body and at the same time explore how the human body works and how we can get athletes to run, jump, swim and cycle faster or how we can get all people and children more physically active. I give two lectures a week and the rest of my time is devoted to me working with my research assistant and my research students. We get to work in some really cool labs collecting data such as oxygen uptake, heart function, muscle function and blood chemistry. My research at the moment is focused on what allows us to pace ourselves during exercise and how this could be of benefit to marathon runners and even military personal.
My Typical Day
There is no such thing as a typical day, each day comes with its own challenges and excitement which is what makes my job so much fun.
If there was a typical day it would probably look something like this. Individual tutorials with my undergraduate and postgraduate students. Give a lecture for 2 hours followed by running a laboratory practical session for an hour . I would then catch up with student enquiries via email and other general enquiries. I would meet with my research assistant and discuss data collection and analysis. If I was in the lab this could be an all-day affair running from 08:00 – 21:00.
What I'd do with the money
I will make a series of interactive talking heads with scientists showing how they use sports science in their work
I would use the money to enable me to interview sports scientists across the UK to find out how they use certain methods, tests, principles or skills in their work. These videos would be interactive so for example, if you were researching for your school course something on VO2max, you could search the scientists and see who works with this and how they asses it. I want this to be the start of a tool-box of sports science knowledge that can be accessed by all.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Optimistic, passionate, talkative
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Everything from Guns n’ Roses through to Jean Michel Jarre and Slow Moving Millie
What's your favourite food?
Tough deciiosn here, i do love a really hot curry, but am also a fan of a burger and fries
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Tough choice. Competing for Great Britain at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games was fun but stressful, while wallking with lions was the most exhilarating.
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I got into trouble, but never got caught for the trouble i caused. I was at a bording school, so mischief in the evenings and weekends was a common practice.
What was your favourite subject at school?
PE and English Literature
What's the best thing you've done in your job?
I have been fortunate enough to have worked with some great athletes and helped in their preparation for World and Paralympic Games. Through my research I have been fortunate enough to travel the world to such places as Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Vienna, Malmo, Amsterdam, Montpellier and London, discussing our work and trying to inspire young scientists such as yourselves
What or who inspired you to do what you do?
Two people. My PE teacher was a former Olympic Middle distance runner who got me interested in the idea of Sports Science as a course and also a potential career route. The second was my university tutor who was so passionate about exercise physiology and the application to sport. Together these two were a massive influence on my life.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you be?
A coach to athletes with a disABILITY
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. That i could still be competing for Team GB, im just to old now. 2. That i could actually play golf, im so bad and it annoys me.
Tell us a joke.
Question. What does a scientist create when he goes to the bathroom? Answer. Brownian motion
This is Harry and Winnie who certainly are welcome sight and a bundle of fun when I get home in the evening.
This is me (at the back) competing for Great Britain as a Paralympic cyclist.
This is where I work, the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences
Presenting at the recent Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Conference in Brazil ahead of the Games
One of our research participants completing a VO2max test as part of marathon pacing study
Some of my undergraduate students collecting blood samples from a research participant
Collecting measures of strength with the knee flexors and extensors using isokinetic dynamometry
Collecting sprint and agility data in our multi-purpose research lab