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Tim Stinchcombe's Synth Stuff


What I do for a living

I currently work for Heber Ltd., a small company based just outside Stroud, whose mainstay is making PCBs for the gaming industry (i.e. for one-armed bandits and video games). I have to employ both my hardware and software engineering skills to the task of keeping our large Agilent 3070 'bed-of-nails' in-circuit PCB testing machines running optimally. It is challenging, fairly dynamic, and very rewarding (from the job satisfaction point of view).

My background

I was born in 1957 in Devizes (southern England), but my family moved around to various places until we ended up in Abergavenny, South Wales, when I was about 9, and I lived there until 1981. In 1976 I started studies at the University College of North Wales, Bangor (University of Wales, Bangor, as it is now), graduating with a maths degree three years later. I then did several years writing test-system software, before moving to Cheltenham (south central England, and where I still am) to work at Smiths Industries (now part of GE Aviation), who are a large aerospace contractor, and with whom I worked on three large avionics programmes (two civil, one defence).

In 1995, becoming increasingly uneasy about what the future held for me at Smiths, I left and became a full-time student again, only this time it was at Royal Holloway College, University of London: from there I gained an MSc in 1996, and a PhD in 2000 (both mathematics again). There then followed a short spell at QinetiQ in Malvern, doing radio communications research, during which time I re-discovered my lost childhood-interest in electronics (a more in-depth relation of how this came about is here). In about 2002 I thus resolved to change career direction yet again, to move into something more hardware or electronics orientated. To that end I signed up to do an HNC correspondence course, in electronics, through COLU (this was the 'Cleveland Open Learning Unit', part of the University of Teesside, but has now become 'Teesside University Open Learning': highly recommended—the course was very enjoyable, I learned a lot, the tutors are very friendly, and I now have a qualification that says I know something about electronics!). I completed the HNC late in 2005, by which time I had already achieved my aim through the job at Heber!

[And in case anyone reading this is into Golay sequences, or is curious to know what a maths PhD thesis might look like, the title of my thesis is "Aperiodic Correlations of Length 2m Sequences, Complementarity, and Power Control for OFDM" (click for the file, 1.4MB: the abstract is just a single sheet though.)]

[Page last updated: 17 Apr 2011]