We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of them by reading these quick-fire interviews.
Name: Sophie Paszynska
Job title: Mechanical Design Engineer
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on HARMONI, an instrument that makes up part of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). I am relatively new so I am still learning about the instrument.
Describe a typical day
I get into the office around 8-8.30, after a fairly long commute – cycle/train/walk. I get to work on researching and developing ideas for the task at hand. The main software I use is Inventor which is a computer-aided design package. Inventor enables me to design and analyse components to meet given design requirements. Two big changes that I am adapting to from my previous job are the CAD package used, and the size of the instrument – the largest instrument I previously worked on was 10kg and now I am working on an instrument that is 500kg which brings with it a new set of design challenges! I also have progress meetings to attend to keep up-to-date with the project. Once my role picks up more, I will be creating drawings of components to be made by the workshop and then further down the line there will be testing and validation of components to further develop and prove designs. At lunchtime I try to take a walk around the university parks to get some fresh air and a break from the PC as my role is mostly desk-based at the moment. Being relatively new I am excited to see what work will be sent my way, something that drew me to this role is the amazing projects that are going on here.
If you had an entire day at your disposal (not at work), what would be your ideal way to spend it?
I would start by taking time to bake with some good music and then go for a long hike, if it was a local trip I would go to Wendover Woods. Time permitting, I would try and also fit in some time to work on the van conversion I am doing with my partner – hopefully soon we can go out exploring in it!
What is your favourite place in Oxford?
I am relatively new to Oxford so I still have plenty of exploring to do however I love taking a walk around the university parks, and then grabbing a coffee from Horsebox Coffee – best coffee I have had so far.
What might you be doing if you weren’t in your current role?
I have a pipe dream to own a cosy café which would serve cakes made from my own recipes, and have a space incorporated that could be used for people to practice creative hobbies.