Sam Wilkinson


— Sam Wilkinson is a physicist, data scientist, and maker living in east London


In July 2016 I graduated from Oriel College, Oxford with a B.A. (Hons.) in Physics. I wrote my thesis on the performance of the SPICE EUV spectrometer, which will launch aboard ESA's Solar Orbiter spacecraft in 2018. Outside of academics, I was president of Oriel's debate society, an editor of Oriel's newspaper, as well as Secretary of the Oxford University Space and Astronomy Society.

After interning in London designing and building visualisations of the performance and composition of investment funds, I moved to Madrid for a research placement at the European Space Agency (ESA). My research focussed on applying machine learning techniques to the study of star and planet formation. While at ESA I authored a paper titled New Member Candidates of Upper Scorpius from Gaia DR1, which has accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

After finishing at ESA, I moved to DC to intern for Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). My work focussed on policy issues within science and technology, healthcare, criminal justice reform, and human trafficking. I also developed tools to help better track the progress of legislation through Congress. My first time in DC was as a Data Science Intern at NASA, where I studied how people collaborate at international hackathons (like the International Space Apps Challenge and the National Day of Civic Hacking). They also let me into the Mission Control Center once.