This week we introduce you to Dr Kevin Evans, our fearless rock climber and Research Support Specialist working out of our Oxford office. Kevin was lucky enough to be able to combine his hobbies of adventure sports and climbing with his knowledge of physiology into a very interesting and energetic PhD. Kevin’s love of science spans from being allowed to be very hands-on with science at an early age, which continues to be reflected in how he deals with the tasks of his job on a day-to-day basis. His experience in the field of physiology research lends itself nicely to providing help to our customers within his support role.
Tell us a bit about what you do.
I am currently part of the support team at ADInstruments, Oxford office. My main focus is on the research side of things rather than education. I spend most of the day assisting researchers with their system set-ups and queries, advising on best practices and how to retrieve their data.
What’s the best part of your job?
The hands on aspect of the job and being able to, hopefully, make a difference to the way people record and analyse their data.
How did you become interested in life science education? Did you always want to work in this field? Was there an ‘aha’ moment?
I have always been interested in how and what makes things work. I started my career as a design engineer but soon moved over to physiology. Being an active climber and keen outdoor sports person I was given the opportunity to complete a PhD in high altitude physiology. This allowed me to look further into the causes and consequences of low oxygen environments and to get a better understanding to what happens when you ascend big mountains.
This novel science is easily translatable to many clinical scenarios for example: stroke, migraine, cognitive function, exercise science, which gave us a great opportunity to research a clinical outcome. There is always something new to learn or discover.
Do you have a science/education hero? Who has inspired you?
My old science teachers in school, Mr Childs and Vinney, they let us burn things, blow things up and make stuff – so much fun! It’s a shame bunsen burners aren’t so common in schools these days. What a great way to learn science!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in this career?
Be prepared for anything! You never know what’s going to happen next.
For you, is your work about the journey or the destination? Do you enjoy the process or the outcome most?
It’s all about the process and the journey to getting to a specific goal. I enjoy finding out how things work and what affects their function. The end result is always important, but if anything is different to the original process the end result will change. This is why the process is important.