Ryan comes from Gateshead and if you meet him, you’d know it by the proper accent. Actually when I asked him for bio information he told me that he was born with a collapsed lung and his parents were told he would not survive. Which is pretty cool. Not many of us have defied death. Anyway, his picture here is from his graduation where he did a Bachelor’s degree in Physics at Durham University. The pic is (you might have guessed) from that ceremony. The old building in the background is the cathedral, which is the final resting place of Bede the Venerable, the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon scholars. He doesn’t normally dress like that. Anyway, most in the United Kingdom do a four year undergraduate degree and get a Masters degree (Master of Physics, Master of Chemistry, and so on), but Ryan preferred to get a Bachelor’s degree and then do an MPhil so he could get his hands dirty with some proper research. Then he could do a PhD. Anyway, he continued the work started by Matt Mears on the temperature dependence of polymer diffusion on different surfaces using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and is now doing a PhD as part of the Soft Matter Centre for Doctoral Training in Durham. On August 21 2017 Ryan defended his thesis in front of his examiners Dr Luke Wilson (from the University of Sheffield) and Professor Chris Sammon of Sheffield Hallam University.