Claire Benson

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Gender

Female

Age

22 - 30

Status

Working

Broad Subject Area/s

Physics,Chemistry,Engineering

Job description

Fire & Explosion researcher

Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths

Fire & Explosion

Education and route to your job

Good GCSEs. Biology, Chemistry, Maths A levels. BSc (hons) degree in Forensic Science. Rang up the professor I did my final year project with, asking if he knew anyone that would hire me. He said he would. Currently writing up a PhD in Fire and Explosion science at London South Bank University whilst working here as a researcher.

Job route: typical, unusual, or a bit of both?

Unusual

Day in the Life

No such thing. Typically somone will come to our team with a problem that needs solving, and we work out how to do that. Involves costing out projects, trying to estimate how long it will take, designing experiments, buying equipment, checking health & safety, and finally running experiments.

Happiness

8 - So very happy

Life outside work

Love music and dance, and going to the theatre and cinema. I love to read fiction and socialise with my mates.

Work Environment

Friendly

Hardworking

Quiet

Deadline-y

Mixed gender

Potentially dangerous

Fun

Experimental

Intellectual

Academic

Challenging

Other ways to decribe your job

Varied

Family background

First in the line to go to Uni. Single parent family. My family always encouraged me to do the best that I could, and to think about reaching high, without pressuring me to do things.

What attracted you to your career?

Fire...and explosions. That's not all, but, come on, that's enough. I enjoyed life at the uni, and liked the Prof. who offered me the job so that was a factor too.

Starting salary

16K - 20K

Potential salary

61K - 70K

Does your employer support staff with further training or education?

Yes

What type of scientist are you?

Explorer

Investigator

Communicator

Teacher

Advice

Do some science subjects, but also others that interest you. Many subjects give you skills that can be useful. History taught me how to research and analyse complex situations as much as science did. English taught me communication skills that I now find invaluable. Do the subjects you love, not just the ones you think you should do. Also if something doesn't go right the first time, there will usually be another chance.