I'm currently a post-doc with Northeastern University working on DZero, one of the Tevatron experiments. Like many people, I'm trying to find the best time to move to CERN, and for me it's happening later this year. It's a little hard for me to believe that this also marks 10 years since I started my PhD at the University of Manchester. I was not even sure I would be accepted to that program, having just taken 3 years away from study to play in a band (we didn't get very far!). But they obviously they saw something, and I'm still working in physics and enjoying it immensely.
My main interest in physics came at around age 16, with probably a combination of a good teacher and some interests I've had all my life. I've always wanted to understand how things work, a lot of which probably comes from my engineer father, and I loved the power of physics to explain things with just a few ideas and equations. Continuing to study at University was really the only thing I wanted to do, and while there I took a few courses in particle physics. Again, I think a really good lecturer was one of the main things that got me interested in this area. Then after taking some time away to follow my musical interests, I felt the pull of science again, and here I am.
When not at work, I still enjoy making music (or noise at least) on guitar, and most recently the fiddle. I try to keep up with some of the local music and arts scene in Chicago also, and take a few photos in my free time. I'll also be looking for a new place to practice kendo in Geneva, and trying to learn French. One of the bonuses I enjoy most about working in particle physics is the opportunity to travel, especially to go skiing—there is not much opportunity for that in Illinois!