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Dr Russell Cowburn

Dr Russell CowburnRussell Cowburn can trace his interest in science back to the age of six, when his father demonstrated a bulb lighting up in a simple electric circuit. He quickly discovered (by himself) how to make a switch for this circuit-an exciting moment for a six year old. All through his teenage years he was engaged with building computers for himself at a time when there was no such thing as a home computer.

He came to Cambridge in 1990, sponsored through his degree course in Natural Sciences by Racal Research Ltd, for whom he had worked during his gap year. He took physics for his final year and his PhD was based at the Cavendish. A love of the French language led him to Paris for the first year of his PhD where he collaborated with researchers at CNRS, whilst becoming even more fluent in French. He was rewarded by the excitement of working with a very experienced team of 'hands-on' researchers, in a laboratory run quite differently to any in Britain.

Love of a different kind ensured that Russell returned to Cambridge, where he got married after completing his PhD in 1996.

As a post-doc, he moved to the Department of Engineering to gain new research experience in a field to which he could also bring some expertise: nanotechnology. A research fellow at St John's College, he has recently been awarded a lectureship at Durham University which he is due to take up in October 2000.

When not busy with the excitement of research, Russell plays badminton, and has been known to cox a boat for St John's. A committed Christian, Russell is also heavily involved with his local church.