ATHLETES OF SCBC: Nigel Coburn

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We introduce and interview our athletes who will lead and present our College on the water in Lent bumps (Feb 23-26). Selwyn athletes not only perform on the water, but are also great students and researchers.

SCBC: “Why did you decide to start rowing?”

Nigel “Two of my cousins had previously rowed when they were both at Cambridge. One at Sidney Sussex and the other at Downing. They had always told me that it was great fun. After watching the detailed coverage of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, I was hooked. I signed up.”

SCBC: “What’s your work and research about?”

Nigel: “ I am working for the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS devices) for use in space satellites. Specifically and simplistically, I am developing a tiny (micro-scale) ohmic (metal-to-metal) contact MEMS switch that will replace older and bulkier electromagnetic relays that are currently in use. Employing traditional lithography fabrication techniques along with more novel approaches, such as inkjet printing and shape memory alloys (SMAs), as well as new materials and composites, such as diamond-like-carbon (DLC) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), a reliable device may be realised.”

SCBC: “Thank you. We wish you and your crew a fab lead up to Lents in two weeks!”

Photo credits: Aleka Gürel

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