David Basnett, Chief scientist

Job Title: Chief Scientist

Organisation: Atmos International

Number of years in current position: 1

Qualifications: MA in Mathematics, PhD in Applied Mathematics

Atmos International is a small-medium company providing pipeline related software and services, mainly to the oil and gas industry. On an average day I will either be developing new software applications, or adding new features to our existing software. I work very closely with the project teams responsible for delivering the end produce to our customers, and every project brings a new set of challenges.

I like knowing that the mathematical problems I have helped to solve have been built into software which is used every day all over the world. I have enjoyed maths as long as I can remember, particularly since I got my first computer (A ZX81) when I was eight, and discovered that I could turn mathematics into something non-mathematicians could use.

As I progressed through school (and newer computers), my interest in applied mathematics and computing grew. In the sixth form at my school I had a week of work experience at an industrial research centre, and I realised that I wanted a job where I would be exposed to new and varying problems all the time.

The main skills I consider essential for my job are an ability to constantly learn new things, and the translation from the real world to mathematics and back again. My advice for other individuals considering my career path would be to study mathematics, but play with computer programming as much as possible. My future career plans are to stay with Atmos International doing the same job until they run out of interesting problems.