a very tall tower sitting on the side of a snow covered mountain

Alexander Robinson May

Hello! I work as a Principal Research Scientist modelling and predicting electromagnetic scattering phenomena. This has straddled the standard boundaries between electro-optical and radio-frequency teams, and included topics relating to radiative transfer, imaging, surface scatter, characterisation of materials, communication systems, synthetic aperture radar, and even nanophotonics/nanoplasmonics… and I like to get stuck in and wear many hats.

Developing connections between disciplines (physics, mathematics, electronic engineering, optical engineering) to solve problems, is what I enjoy, with a particular focus on digging within the ‘grey literature’

I completed a PhD in novel optoelectronic waveguide design at the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) and began working at the start-up company WaveOptics. After this, I spent some time working in natural language processing (NLP) before returning to academia and completing a Research Fellowship within the TEAM-A, the University of Exeter, and QinetiQ.

Earlier in my life, I obtained an MSc in RF Communication Systems Engineering at the University of Portsmouth and a BSc in Mathematics at the University of Southampton. However, I have worked in various disciplines in the past, including spending time in the Merchant Navy with P&O Nedlloyd and in the security industry in multiple roles.

I am also an active member of Winchester Boxing Club, and an accidental philosopher. An unusual combination!

Some topics I think about

I also muse about

  • What is the most efficient way to sort odd socks?
  • Is my kids’ bad behaviour in some way synonymous to coupled non-linear oscillators?
  • How might you model the varying ‘mood’ of someone (me!) on a daily basis
  • What approach could be used to model the oscillations of my car and caravan when towing on a bumpy road?
  • How are the forces distributed in the alloy wheel ‘spokes’ (and tyres!) of my family car in different scenarios? [I worked with an expert on this topic at one time!]

Popular science articles I’ve written

My professional pages


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