Iain Wallace

Iain Wallace graduated with a PhD from the School of Informatics in 2010.

Name Iain Wallace
Degree Course PhD in Informatics
Year of Graduation 2010
Iain Wallace Image

Your time at University

I think everyone’s experience of a PhD is different, but I’d like to think everyone’s experience of Edinburgh is the same - endless choice of activities, fantastic clubs to join and a great city to live in. Of course I could be biased, as I was born and raised in Edinburgh, returning here after an undergraduate MEng in York, and time working in industry. As a keen fencer and mountain biker Edinburgh and the sports clubs had a lot to offer, with the nearby hills playing a factor in my choice (and the world-class AI research)! Representing the university for both mountain biking and fencing championships and the many trips away with my friends in the clubs are some of my fondest memories of my degree, and the friends I made whilst at Edinburgh.

Your experiences since leaving the University

I now work for the space division of a company called Scisys, and in my words I’d say I do research and development to make space robots smarter. My PhD in autonomous agents from Edinburgh combined with a subsequent post-doc in a related area at Heriot-Watt university gave me good background to get into what’s maybe not a typical software engineering job that I’d like to think many would envy. Not many people find themselves on training courses to head out to the Atacama desert testing cutting edge Mars rover navigation algorithms, or researching machine learning techniques to spot novel phenomena in satellite imagery. My academic research background developed during my PhD gives me the ability to understand and apply new research to practical applications to solve interesting problems.

Alumni Wisdom

Take the opportunities offered to you. Doing new things can be exciting, scary, and hard work, but nearly always worth it. During my PhD I taught, entered posters to the Informatics Jamboree, wrote papers, stood on club committees and helped out with the graduate school. None of these I had to do, but all of these experiences have been useful since.

This article was first published in 2015. For updates on what Iain is doing now, find his LinkedIn below.

Related links

Iain Wallace on LinkedIn