Liz Ainsbury, Data analyst

Job Title: Data analyst

Organisation: Health Protection Agency

Qualifications: BSc Physics, PhD Physics (submitted)

The Health Protection Agency Radiation Protection Division carries out radiation protection research and provides advice to individuals and organisations. I have only been working at the HPA for a few weeks but I am enjoying it very much as the work is extremely varied. We analyse blood samples to determine radiation dose in the case of suspected exposure - requests come in from around the world and no two cases are the same. I enjoy the logical basis of maths and the stats work that I do often has real implications for people’s lives, for instance dose estimation. My job requires the quantitative precision of statistical analysis but, as with any real data, some qualitative assessment. So the physics comes in handy.

I would advise anyone studying a quantitative subject and thinking of a career in maths/science to learn a programming language. It’s amazing how much time it can save!