My first degree was a B.Sc (Honours) in Applied Physics, with my honours thesis being an investigation into the hidden variable theory of quantum mechanics. I had proposed a number of ideas for my final year thesis - all of which were vetoed. So I wound up doing Quantum Mechanics research instead of building a rocket. In hindsight, this probably did my maths no end of good anyway. Quantum Mechanics is far harder than Rocket Science.

This was then followed by an M.Sc in Remote Sensing, Image Processing and Applications, where I specialised in Planetary Physics. I found looking at fields from space about as interesting as watching wet paint dry (very Zen), but looking at the surface of other planets was far more interesting, especially Mars. It was the research I did on Martian surface analysis, that led to my involvement in the space field after I completed the M.Sc.

I then decided that in my spare time, I would do a Ph.D in Astrophysics, specialising in Stellar Magnetohydrodynamics. The part time Ph.D is ongoing. It keeps me off the streets I guess, and it lets me stretch my computers with something more taxing than running a word processor or Quake.

When I wasn't building and launching rockets, dismantling household appliances or immersing myself in the home computers of the early 80's, I attended high school at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (A Welsh Language Comprehensive School) in Llandaf, Cardiff. Subjects were taught through the medium of the Welsh Language. Some of the teachers seemed to think that I wouldn't get far in life, so the 3 degrees above are testimony to their stunning lack of judgement !

Did I learn anything at school ? Yes, plenty, but probably the most valuable things I learnt, were the importance of failure, and how it can strengthen one, and how to make better rocket propellants.

A-Levels: Pure and Applied Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
O-Levels: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Computer Science, Geography, English Literature, English Language, Welsh language and Music.

(c) 1999 Richard Osborne, London.