Tom Ford left Roundwood Park in 1998 after taking 4 A-levels (Pure Maths, Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry) to study Physics at Balliol College, Oxford University. He very much appreciated the rigorous Maths teaching at Roundwood and the enthusiasm of his science teachers in preparing him for Oxford University. He was at Oxford University for 4 years, graduating with a 1st class degree and specialising in Condensed Matter physics.
Tom then moved to Cambridge University in 2002 to pursue a PhD in Chemical Physics working under Prof. Richard Friend and Dr. Neil Greenham in the Cavendish Laboratory. He studied the excited energy states in semi-conducting plastic materials, providing insight into materials which are excellent candidates for flat-screen displays and solar cells. He used a wide variety of laser and general spectroscopic techniques as well as cryogenics, electronics and programming. This work resulted in several publications in leading Physics journals.
After Cambridge, Tom returned to Oxford in 2006 to work for Sharp Electronics as a Research Scientist. At Sharp Tom worked in the Biosciences group, learning about, for the first time, the exciting world of biochemistry as well as continuing to apply his spectroscopic expertise. Later in Sharp, Tom worked on a project developing a novel healthcare sensor, which involved applying electronics, software and machine learning algorithms to a practical problem. This also led to considerable expose to the business side of the company and travel to Japan, which in turn led to him acquiring a modest business proficiency in Japanese.
After 7 years at Sharp, Tom decided it was time for a change, so left Sharp in 2012 to join We7 Ltd – an internet music company – where he is currently leading a group applying ‘big data’ technologies and data mining algorithms to the company’s data. This work, in mathematics and software engineering, aims to allow the company to provide a better service by understanding and predicting the behaviour of the company’s users.