Nik Watson

Favourite Thing: getting my hands dirty in the lab, As a researcher there’s lots of variety in my job, such as teaching, data analysis and countless meetings around the county, but im at my happiest when im blasting soundwaves through cheese or chocolate!!



DeAston School, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire. North lincolnshire College. University of Hull, University of Leeds


PhD (Process engineering) MEng (mechanical engineering), A levels, GCSE’s

Work History:

Ive made windows, Managed bars and night clubs, done lots of decorating and labouring and still DJ quite a bit

Current Job:

Research Fellow (It means i work in a lab)


University of Leeds, School of Food Science and Nutrition, Food Physics group

Me and my work

I study the properties of food and other substances using sound waves.

A did a degree and PhD in engineering and somehow ended up working in a food science department.

My research is split into two areas:

1) Using acoustics and ultrasound (sound waves) to study lots of of food and non food liquids and solids. Examples include: Measuring bubbles in chocolate bars, Scanning bacon to find out what the pig was eating, understanding what happens to fuel in your cars at low temperatures and understanding whats really happening in fake tan.

2) Using computers to make models which can perform virtual experiments to help understand lots of problems faced by the food industry. Examples of this include: How can we make microwave food more crispy and how can we optimise the size and shape of food so it cooks faster.

Im very lucky as my research is funded by lots of big multi national food companies so im always travelling around and meeting lots of interesting and exciting people from all over the world.

My Typical Day

impossible, every day is different, which is one of my favourite things about being a scientist.

Its a really tough one as every day is different, the only typical thing is that it starts with a coffee. Things I do over a week include:

Experiments in the lab

Meetings around uni or at companies

Data analysis


Supervising project students

Writing proposals

Helping out with open days

Doing lots of taste panels (often not as great as is sounds)

Marking exams and reports

Replying to emails

Writing papers and presentations

What I'd do with the money

Use it to help our School of Food Science get more young people involved with science and what we do.

Our school is dedicated to getting schools and young people involved in the science and research we are working on every day.

Part of this is visiting schools to perform experiments with the children and hopefully make them see that science is fun and a good laugh, as well as a rewarding career.

I would use the money for either promotion of these events of for equipment we could use to make them even better.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

genius magnificent modest

Who is your favourite singer or band?

guns n roses

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I DJ dubstep and drum and bass in clubs some weekends which is lots of fun, but snowboarding is probabl the best!

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

a pet crocodile and my own pirate ship.

What did you want to be after you left school?

Didnt have a clue, so I got a job making windows. Realised thats deffinately what I didnt want to do so went to uni.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Only when i got caught.

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

Hmmm tough one, will hava think and update when I decide.

Tell us a joke.

a lorry load of terrapins crashed into a lorry load of tortoises…………….it was a turtle disaster!!! :D :D :D

Other stuff

Work photos: