Melissa Castle
B.Sc. (Honours) 1997; M.Sc. 1999

I began my undergraduate degree in September of 1992 in the Physics Department at Brock University. In addition to the course work during the fall and winter terms, I was fortunate to spend several summers as a research assistant for Dr. Bozidar Mitrovic. We looked at various theoretical problems of high temperature superconductivity, and during this time I gained practical experience programming in FORTRAN and also learned many other computer software packages.

In the fall of 1996 I completed my honours degree and was undecided about whether I would pursue employment or continue in academics at the Masters level. Ultimately, I made the decision to continue on to a Masters program. I had enjoyed my undergraduate research experiences at Brock and thought that a MSc would give me more flexibility when pursuing employment in the future. I received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) graduate scholarship, which is awarded to selected Canadian students to pursue graduate studies at any universityin Canada (or abroad in some instances). While I both applied to and visited several other universities, I chose to stay at Brock for my Masters. I enjoyed the small classes and friendly atmosphere in the department, and I wanted to continue along the same line of research as my undergraduate thesis. For my MSc thesis, I examined the magnetic field penetration depth in high temperature superconductors using a proposed model of high-Tc superconductivity called the Interlayer Pair Tunneling Model. I completed my Masters degree in September of 1999.

After graduation, I decided to temporarily pursue one of my other interests, namely music. I was involved with both performing and teaching music, which was a big change in pace from my seven years in the physics department! During this time, however, I began to investigate my options for employment in industry. I was pleased to discover that the prospects were good, and that physicists are in high demand, especially given the recent surge in telecommunications and computer technology. While I was initially worried that I did not have the practical hands-on experience necessary to qualify for many positions, I quickly learned that in many cases, employers hire candidates based on one's potential to learn. Both the problem solving skills, independent thinking skills, ability to carry out research at a high calibre, and teamwork that I learned at Brock proved to be essential in obtaining a job.

I was recently offered a position as a Product Engineer at JDS Uniphase Corporation. JDS Uniphase designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes fiber optic components for the rapidly growing fiber optic communications industry. I will be working in the manufacturing division, and more specifically, the wavelength division multiplexer group. At this stage, I can't say too much about the details of the job since I haven't started it yet!

I'm very much looking forward to working in this exciting and challenging environment. I feel that my education and experiences at Brock were crucial in obtaining my current position, and that they will also be crucial to my success on the job. In particular, I am grateful to Dr. Mitrovic for all of his insights and guidance throughout the years. He took a personal interest in my achievements, both in physics and in life in general. My time at Brock will be remembered fondly, and I hope to keep in touch in the years to come.

Melissa Castle