Interdisciplinary blog

Skyrmion-based data storage

June 30, 2015
by Alexander Marjoram

Part of the EPSRC Vacation Bursaries Scheme 2015

Student name: Xander Marjoram

Student degree course: Aeronautics & Astronautics/Spacecraft Engineering

Year of study: 3

Supervisor: Hans Fangohr

I’m a third- (going on fourth-) year undergraduate studying Aerospace Engineering, and some of the modules that I’ve studied over the last few years have been very enjoyable. I noticed that these modules all had something in common: they had strong computational themes, such as FEEG1001 Design and Computing, where we were given a thorough introduction to Python (this is also how I met my supervisor – Hans Fangohr – whose lectures I thoroughly enjoyed); FEEG2001 Systems Design and Computing, where I chose the UAV design, built and test project and was responsible for the programming of the on-board arduino flight computer in C++.

These experiences led me to choose a computation-based third-year Individual Project. The project involved magnetic skyrmions, simulations and plenty of coding. I definitely enjoyed it and by the time it finished I felt like I was only just getting started. My 10 week Vacation Research Project, based at the new Boldrewood Innovation Campus is a continuation of this project.

Tell us about your specific research project: Skyrmions are magnetic topological features found in nano-films and bulks of certain materials. This research project will continue my previous studies into determining the potential of skyrmions for use in energy-efficient, high-density data storage devices

Describe any future plans regarding on-going study/postgraduate research connected to your Vacation Bursary project:

I never really thought of myself as a person who would become a PhD candidate, as I could never think of a topic I’d be willing enough to research. However, this project has been both enjoyable and rewarding and I could certainly see myself continuing it in future. To what extend? I’m not sure. Fortunately I will have the whole of fourth-year to decide, and I’m hoping the module FEEG6002 (Advanced Computational Methods 1) which I am taking next year will provide further background to any future studies.

Categories: Blog. Tags: aeronautics, astronautics, engineering, epsrc, hans fangohr, idr, interdisciplinary research, skyrmion, spacecraft, University of Southampton, vacation bursaries, and xander marjoram.

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