George Watson

# Computational biophysics PhD student

Theoretical Physics student trained in problem solving, with strong research, communication, and teamworking skills developed through group projects, extended experience in online and print journalism, and roles on society committees. Interested in scientific computing, as well as journalism and public communication of science.

Extracurricular Activities
Other Skills & Experience


University of York ()
PhD Computational Biophysics (Department of Physics)
University of York ()
MPhys Theoretical Physics
Year 1 c 79%
The Fabric of Physics 10 72%
Physics of Matter & Introduction to Quantum Physics 15 76%
Newtonian & Relativistic Mechanics 15 78%
Professional Skills 15 84%
Mathematics I 20 91%
Experimental Laboratory I 20 78%
Physics of Fields & Waves 15 65%
Mathematical Modelling 10 87%
Year 2 c 77%
Mathematics II 10 81%
Lagrangian Mechanics & Introduction to Solid State Physics 20 72%
Quantum Physics I: (Quantum Mechanics, Atomic Physics & Lasers) 20 74%
Computational & Mathematical Techniques for Theoretical Physics 20 80%
Computational Laboratory 20 71%
Electromagnetism & Optics 20 85%
Mathematics III 10 83%
Year 3 c 73%
Mathematical Physics & Computational Quantum Mechanics 10 80%
Stellar Physics (optional) 10 73%
Advanced Theoretical Techniques 10 57%
Quantum Physics II 20 77%
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics 20 73%
Advanced Computational Physics 20 74%
Molecular Simulation 10 63%
Special & General Relativity (optional) 10 75%
Introduction to Quantum Computing (optional) 10 81%
Year 4 c pending
Project: "Probing the structure and dynamics of DNA" 60
Advanced & Further Quantum Mechanics (optional) 20
Biophysics (optional) 20
High Performance Computing (optional) 20
Franklin College, Grimsby ()
A2 Mathematics (A*)
A2 Physics (A)
A2 Biology (B)
AS Chemistry (C)
Matthew Humberstone School, Cleethorpes ()
8 GCSEs (4A*, 1A, 2B, 1C) including English & Maths at A*
A* Additional Science, English, Mathematics, Science
A English Literature
B French, Religious Studies
C History

OCR Nationals Certificate (4 GCSE equivalents) ICT (Merit)
BTEC (2 GCSE equivalents) Business Studies (Pass)
Edexcel Adult Certificates (1 GCSE equivalent combined) Literacy & Numeracy (Pass)

Extracurricular Activities

GeekFest York
Organiser (Website & Staging) (–present)
As a member of the small GeekFest organising body, I play an important part in organising one of the largest events on campus, bringing together societies and external guests to put on an on-campus pop-culture convention. I have personal responsibility for managing events across the event's several stages, as well as the design, development, and maintenance of the event website. The role requires exceptional skills in organisation and project & event management, as well as communication with guests and exhibitors from a variety of backgrounds.
University of York Doctor Who Society
Treasurer ()
After serving as president of the society for two years, I chose to stand down from the office and instead seek election as treasurer. I am responsible for the society's funds, including collecting membership fees, submitting claims to the student's union, and overseeing the society budget. The role allows me to continue to oversee and ensure the success of the membership fee I previously implemented as president.
President ()
As the president of a university society, my role is to manage and delegate tasks and to liaise with the students' union and other societies in York and elsewhere to organise events, making use of my leadership, people management, and organisation skills. My biggest achievement was the introduction of a membership fee to boost society funds, enable diversification of events, and increase engagement.
University of York Physics Society
Webmaster (–present)
As the webmaster of one of the most active societies on campus, I designed and built a branded website from scratch to a deadline, and now maintain and update the website regularly to meet the needs of the rest of the committee, requiring use of my skills in communication and teamwork.
Halifax College, University of York
Second/Third Year Contact ()
As a second/third year contact, I was entrusted with easing the transition of new students into university life during freshers' week, showing them around campus and the city, and ensuring they arrived at events safely and on time, a demanding and high-pressure role requiring time management and people skills.


University of York
Postgraduate Research Assistant ()


Digital Garage Certificate of Online Proficiency
Google (2016; does not expire)
The Google Digital Garage is a series of courses in online marketing, created by market leaders Google. Upon completion of the entire course, including a complete test on all elements, I received the Digital Garage Certificate of Online Proficiency.


Over fifty pieces of journalism published by selective international news websites Wikinews and OpenGlobe, including an in-depth report on space debris and an interview with a white nationalist US presidential candiate.

Also performed administrative duties for these websites, dealing with unconstructive users, responding to emails of complaint and enquiry, obtaining copyright permission for files, and designing & building automated templates to act as part of the infrastructure of the websites.

Work on nuclear power and particle physics has also been published in the science section of Nouse, the University of York's oldest student publication.

Other Skills & Experience

Strong IT skills include familiarity with Windows XP to 8.1 and Ubuntu 10.10 onwards, maintenance of Windows and Linux servers, and the Bash shell. Proficient in Microsoft Office and open-source alternatives.

Very strong capability in computer programming in Fortran, Python, and PHP.

Adaptable and capable of handling difficult situations such as dealing with clients sensitively, replying to complaints and enquiries by email, and approaching controversial figures for interviews.

Cope well under pressure like that experienced in a fast-moving journalistic environment or as a second/third year contact ensuring the safety of new students.

Readily able to work as part of a team, as in academic group projects and on two society committees as well as the GeekFest organising body.

Also a strong team leader; popular and effective society president, boosting membership, diversifying events offered, and being re-elected for a second year.

Experienced at dealing with the public, in person at open days, on the phone at a legal office, and online when handling sensitive emails for news organisations. Knowledge of customer satisfaction & quality assurance developed through participation in university room reviews and freelance web design work.

Acquired organisation and self-management abilities through effective and independent academic study, including voluntarily studying French in my free time at GCSE and through the University of York's Languages for All programme.

Full, clean UK driving licence for categories AM, B, and fkq, held since August 2013.

References are available on request.