Lisa Simmons

Favourite Thing: make things! I love to be in the lab, learning from mistakes



University of Salford (2002 – 2011) Mphys & PhD


Mphys and Phd Physics

Work History:

Research Assistant (Leeds Dental Institute), Post-doctoral research fellow (Queen Mary, University of London), Scientific officer (University of Salford), Lecturer (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Current Job:

Programme leader and lecturer in Applied Physics


Manchester Metropolitan University

Me and my work

I am a university lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan Universtiy, and I research many different types of materials

I work on various different projects but all are about the development of materials. My last project was looking at really old tooth samples from an archaeological dig, to try and understand how the structure of our teeth changes as we grow up.

I have looked at liquid metals, trying to change their properties for different needs, I am currently looking at some that can be used as bone replacements.

My Typical Day

A mixture of teaching, being in the lab, and drinking lots of coffee

At the moment I spend a lot of my time teaching students -which I love. I try to teach most of my lessons in a lab, so the studetns can learn through doing experiments, or building their own bits of kit.

When not teaching I like to be in the lab working with the researchers we have here. I’m very lucky to work at MMU because I have access to some great equipment, I can just book time on the microscopes, x-ray diffraction machines, and spenas much time as I want collecting data.

What I'd do with the money

Help my new Science Ambassador Team get started with designing lots of activities to take out to schools

I have been working with a team of students (about 40!) to help them set up a science ambassador team. These students want the chance to go out to schools and help inspire the next wave of young scientists. This money would help us to develop lots of new activities that myself and the students can use to take out to schools and museuems. My colleague just dontated a mind controlled scaletrix to add to our stock!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

gaming fanatic physicist

Who is your favourite singer or band?

tough question, it changes a lot atm Royal Blood

What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

Looked down the core of a nuclear reactor, scary but fascinating

What did you want to be after you left school?

A pilot, still a bit gutted I can’t fly

Were you ever in trouble at school?

only a bit ;)

What was your favourite subject at school?

science – all of it

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Started working with archeaologists – had so much fun out on digs

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

My teachers, lecturers and friends

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A pilot – I think

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

See the Northern Lights, visit Yellowstone, and learn how to fly

Tell us a joke.

Heisenberg is out for a drive when he’s stopped by a traffic cop. The cop says ‘Do you know how fast you were going?’ Heisenberg says ‘No, but I know where I am.

Other stuff

Work photos: