Tom Hodson is a Physics PhD student.

Photo of Tom HodsonTell us about your role at Imperial

I started as a PhD student in the Department of Physics in October 2018. My research looks at collective behaviour and unconventional states of matter.

Collective behaviours are what you often get when you take a large number of things and let them all interact with each other.

They often do interesting things like arrange themselves in strange ways that don’t correspond to the normal states of matter like solid, liquid and gas.

What were you doing before joining Imperial?

I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

What do you like about working at Imperial?

It has been really enjoyable so far, my supervisor is great and I am really enjoying getting to know the other PhD students.

I often do yoga after work or go to the Imperial College Robotics Society to work on projects. Having never lived in a big city before, I’m really enjoying being in London.

I like the rainbow lanyards here, they help to normalise the LGBT+ community and make it clear that being LGBT+ isn’t something that needs to be hidden at work.

What would you change at Imperial?

It would be nice to have more interaction between research groups and between academics and non-academics.

Are you inspired by any LGBT+ role models?

I don’t think of him as a role model, but I really relate to the writing of an author called Bruce Chatwin. He was one of the first prominent men in the UK to have died of AIDS.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

I’d tell myself to come out to my parents earlier. I was lucky in that I always knew they’d react well but for some reason it took me until last year to actually do it. I think the fact I hadn’t told them always weighed on me a little.