Andrew Barnes – BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate

"I was inspired by my lecturers at Plymouth into a love of learning and research."

After graduating I began working as a software engineer but after realising this wasn’t the right career for me I found a PhD opportunity part of the WISE CDT (Water Informatics, science and engineering centre for doctoral training). I am now conducting research into my topic which is “Process-based storm tracking for extreme weather events”.

My research is focussed on the ability to forecast extreme weather events using atmospheric data. To do this I am looking to utilise machine learning to map atmospheric events to extreme weather outcomes in order to predict events like 2018's "Beast from the East". I have had the chance to meet loads of great people from different backgrounds who are all participating in research related to hydroinformatics.

“If the location isn’t enough to win you over then the amazing teaching styles and links with industry should be.”

After having a tough time during my A-Level exams I knew I wasn’t going to get into my first/insurance choices. Luckily when I called Plymouth they offered me a place within 2 minutes and if I could turn back time I would have applied to Plymouth as my firm choice.

Plymouth definitely provided me with the skills (both technical and non-technical) I needed to take on any graduate role I would have wanted. I am glad Plymouth gave me the opportunities it did to develop myself in ways beyond my course. Through the broad range of topics covered, I was able to easily narrow down my choices for both final year modules and career paths. When taking my selected modules in final year it became very obvious that a research career was one for me. 

The placement definitely helped me decide not only what I would have wanted to do after graduating but also provided me with a large variety of work-related skills which I otherwise wouldn’t have learnt.


I found the Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS) to be an amazing opportunity to not only gain the experience of those in the higher years but also to gain a different perspective on the material and skills we were learning.


I loved PALS so much I became a PALS leader and my favourite memory of Plymouth was being able to represent the university at the international PALS conference in 2014. Not only was it great to meet amazing people but we also managed to win the international award for our poster on the peer-assisted learning scheme at Plymouth.