Freya I. Addison

Freya I. Addison

Application of Geodesy for Ground-Based Radar and Collocated Airborne Platforms for In-Situ Observations in Meteorology and Aeroecology
University of Leeds
Hi! Tell us a bit about yourself – what stage of your PhD are you in and what’s your project about?

Hi! I am in my final year of my PhD. My project is all about improving the precision of observations between collocated ground-based weather radar and airborne platforms such as atmospheric research aircraft, radiosondes/weather balloons and helikites. This level of precision is done through geodesic calculations to improve observations in both aeroecology and meteorology.

What does a typical day or week look like for you?

A bit more mundane these days. Fieldwork was cancelled due to Covid-19, hopefully there will be some more next summer, but it did mean quite a different year. I am finishing up my code, so a fair bit of my time is spent debugging, tidying up and analysing data. As it is my final year, a large proportion of my time is spent writing, chapters and articles but the best bit is editing! Like most jobs, my morning usually starts looking over emails. There is this idea perpetuated in academia that you need to work long hours and weekends without a break, but I make sure I take regular breaks, and the weekends are protected, sometimes I will finish my day early if it has either been really productive or if it’s not going anywhere at all. A non-lab based PhD does have flexible working hours, and I have found mixing up my routine beneficial to both my work life and my mental health.

What’s one thing that you’ve enjoyed the most during your PhD?

Fieldwork, without a doubt. It always presents new challenges, and you get to meet and work with lots of interesting people, its always a lot of fun!

What’s been the most challenging part of it?

Presenting unfinished/broken work to my supervisors. It is frustrating when something isn’t working, or you have spent months working on something and it just isn’t right. Failure is an everyday part of science, and that has been difficult to get used to and feel okay about.

Where do you see yourself 5 years after completing your PhD?
Hopefully in a permanent academic position, or at least still doing active research.

What’s one piece of advice that you’d offer students that are thinking of doing a PhD?
If you find something that interests you, go for it. A PhD is a wonderful thing to do, and although this is going to be your project, which you get to define, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Science is a very collaborative process, work through problems with your colleagues and collaborators (in or outside your team).

What makes your university a good place to study?

I have really enjoyed my time at Leeds, although there is definitely room for improvement, as with any institution, I found it welcoming. When I did my masters, there was an ability to pick modules, and there are discovery modules for undergraduates outside their field of study. The non-curricula science includes things from Pint of Science to the Climate Press. It’s an active place to live and work, definitely worth checking out.

Lastly, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Baking & Hiking.

Want to learn more about Freya?

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