Maths Careers Talks

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News - Mar 29

As part of work experience week, the Maths department organised some career talks with people working with maths in different jobs.  
In the penultimate week of last half term, some of the Year 12 students were given the opportunity to watch live talks delivered by workers from a variety of roles but with a focus on the importance of maths in their respective jobs. The talks also offered a chance to have a live Q&A with the speakers after the talk, allowing students the opportunity to ask specific questions, such as: “How much is A-level maths used in industry?”. 

The week consisted of four main talks. The first was from Emma McNicol, a finance analyst in the nuclear industry. This provided valuable insight into the varied roles that maths can play in STEM-based industries. For example, whilst many may imagine maths roles in this industry to be more involved in the physics side of running the operation, there is also a huge focus on the logistics and management of the operation. This can stretch from finances and resource management to risk management and the safety of the various operations. For example, Emma was mainly focussed on statistics, which are a key part of both the A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics courses.  

The second talk was by a performance and risk manager, Thomas Blann, who is currently working at Great Western Railway. He mentioned how he had originally undertaken an undergraduate degree, and then worked for several years, before returning to university to undertake a PhD in Mathematics. In addition, he mentioned the importance of problem solving in maths-related careers, referencing the famous ‘Seven Bridges of Königsberg’ problem, proved impossible by Euler, an 18th Century Swiss mathematician.   

The third talk was from Molly Naldrett, a senior logistics manager at McLaren Racing, who described the various roles of maths in the racing industry. She also mentioned that she had met the driver for McLaren Racing, Daniel Ricciardo. This talk provided valuable insight into the mechanics required to achieve maximum velocity from the cars, incorporating subjects ranging from fluid dynamics to achieving minimum wear and maximum efficiency from the tyres.  

Finally, we finished the week with a talk with Charlene Chung, a hydraulic modeller, who described her role in sewage systems. She explained the importance of building systems with additional capacity to ensure the needs of the future population could also cope with the system. In a Q&A, she said that the most gratifying part of her job was watching a system that she had designed be implemented in a real-world scenario, and how maths was integral in every step of the design process.  

Mrs Hudson, Teacher of Maths

Maths Department