Our scientist has provided a brief
autobiography to tell pupils:
- How they got into science
- Where they have worked
- What they work on
- What their lifestyle is like
The aim is to show scientists as
the real people they are.
Carolyn's autobiography can be read
here or printed out.
Carolyn Brinkworth is a 23 year-old
PhD student at Southampton University.
For her PhD Carolyn will be investigating
the mysterious phenomenon of Black
"I was born in Coventry in 1979
and grew up in a village just outside
there called Balsall Common. My brother,
Rob, was born when I was 2 years old.
I went to primary school in Temple
Balsall, at Lady Katherine Leveson
C of E School, before moving to senior
school at Bablake School in Coventry.
When I was about nine my Dad took
up sailing, and the rest of us soon
got involved. Up to the age of 15
I dragged my family round the country,
sailing a small boat called an Optimist.
I competed in several national championships
and made it into the National Intermediate
Squad before my knees finally gave
out and I quit. Since then I've become
a qualified RYA sailing instructor
and started to sail another type of
boat called a Laser. It was about
that time that we started taking regular
skiing holidays again (I seem to have
a knack for choosing sports that are
hard on the knees), and Rob and I
took lessons at the local dry ski
slope every week.
One year into my GCSEs my Dad got
a job in the Netherlands working for
Nissan Europe. He lived out there
alone for a year, flying back most
weekends, while I finished my exams
then we all moved out to join him.
Rob and I went to the British School
in the Netherlands in Voorschoten,
near The Hague, where we had a fantastic
time. I did my A levels (Physics,
Maths, History and English) then moved
back to England to study Physics with
Astrophysics at the University of
Four years later, which have probably
been the best four years of my life,
I've just graduated and started a
PhD in Astrophysics down in Southampton.
My brother is at Loughborough University
studying computer science and my parents
have just moved back to England too.
My PhD involves using a high-speed
camera called ULTRACAM, developed
by my supervisor Tom Marsh and Vik
Dhillon, at Sheffield University.
ULTRACAM will be attached to a large
telescope and used to look at gas
and dust swirling in discs around
stars and black holes.
In my spare time I spend time with
my friends in the pub, go sailing
and play my guitar (badly). I'm also
hoping to take up yachting while I'm
in Southampton, as I've always fancied
doing a bit of big boat sailing."