When I was young I found it hard to study, and particularly struggled in mathematics. But eventually I was able to catch up and achieve at a high level. I studied Metallurgy and Science of Materials at Oxford University, which included advanced mathematics and physics.
After Oxford I worked for over 20 years developing lightweight materials and structures. I used a deep understanding of how materials behave to tackle tough challenges and create innovative solutions. I was using my knowledge of mathematics and science in technology development, using a deep understanding of how materials and structures behave to design new concepts like buildings that fold up or jackets that keep firemen cool!
I also taught sailing, canoeing and other adventurous activities to children and teenagers for many years, and helped run youth groups. I have also been involved in humanitarian and community work including building and food growing. For the International Scouts’ Jamboree I ran activities for up to 200 young people. And in Nigeria we built an earth dome house and explored how to grow food more sustainably by copying natural ecosystems.
Now I use all my experience to help young people of all ages to understand and enjoy maths and science subjects. I have been giving individual tuition in Maths and Physics for many years now to international students with a wide variety of backgrounds, ability levels and ages from six years to adult.
My long and varied experiences all help with my work of understanding, empathising and building good rapport with students. I can identify problems quickly and explain things clearly and simply. I show how each topic fits within the ‘whole picture’ of maths and science.
Mathematics is all about finding patterns in the world of shapes and numbers. And science is about finding surprising and beautiful patterns in nature and the universe. Scientists and mathematicians search for laws, because laws produce orderly beauty instead of chaos. They learn to think clearly, driven by the challenge and thrill of discovering new and amazing truths and connections.
I hope that as you study you will also feel some of this excitement as you learn new skills, discover new insights and see more clearly some of the astounding features of the remarkable world we live in.
At school I struggled with maths, but eventually I mastered it enough to enter Oxford University. So I can understand and empathise with students who struggle, and I can help them overcome their problems and achieve their full potential.