Dr Mark Richards – Atmospheric Physicist
I’m gonna keep the good information coming! For my physics lovers out there – enjoy!
Dr Mark Richards, born in Nottingham of Jamaican parentage, is an atmospheric physicist and Lecturer at Imperial College London. His main research interest is in the area of remote sensing of trace gases in the atmosphere, with particular emphasis on air quality and urban air pollution. He also co-founded a technology business (Duvas Technologies) that develops instrumentation to monitor and map air quality in real time (a bit like a weather map but for air pollution).
Dr Richards has a BSc in Chemistry (Manchester) and a PhD in Physics from Imperial College London. After working in finance for a while, Dr Richards returned to Imperial in 2002 as a Post Doc. As a Black Scientist, Dr Richards found the lack of role models in his early years (particularly during his PhD) unsettling. During this time, he discovered a book called ‘ Blacks in Science’ by Ivan Van Sertima. Dr Richards was inspired by many in this book, particularly Imhotep, the Egyptian (Nubian) polymath who excelled in so many areas, including engineering, architecture, medicine, astronomy, and music, to name a few. Although he existed thousands of years ago, it was enough for Dr Richards to know that somebody like him had done great things in science and inspired him to pursue his potential in this area in a more uninhibited way – knowing that others before him had achieved much more.
Dr Richards is currently Head of Physics Outreach, and through this he has shared his experiences with many young people from all walks of life, to help them prepare for further study and eventual careers in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering , and Maths]. Of particular note was when Dr Richards organised and hosted an event with Charles Bolden Jr of NASA. Through this initiative, Charles Bolden Jr was able to share his journey, as an African American from humble beginnings, to how he became a pilot, an astronaut, and eventually Head of NASA with hundreds of young people from all over the UK. Dr Richards has since been involved in several other initiatives in the UK, US, Caribbean, and Africa that all aim to inspire the next generation of STEM thinkers.
More info HERE