NUCLEAR PHYSICIST TAKES ON TEACHING AT TAFE NSW
With a career spanning 30 years, including working in classified scientific programs in Australia and the US, nuclear physicist Andrew J Bradley PhD is taking on a new challenge at TAFE NSW.
Dr Bradley is applying his expertise to teaching maths, chemistry, laboratory skills and environmental science units in courses at TAFE NSW Kingscliff, Wollongbar and Ballina.
He also teaches maths and chemistry units in the seventh annual student exchange program with Denmark, facilitated by TAFE NSW Kingscliff.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the past tutoring, demonstrating, lecturing and supervising in universities and secondary education in Australia and the US. After moving back to Australia in 2015, it was a natural move to look at teaching again,” Dr Bradley said.
Dr Bradley is a PhD in physics and maths and has an undergraduate qualification in chemistry. His career highlights include fourteen years working as Technology Director in a nuclear laser enrichment program at General Electric, and working on a range of classified programs for the armed forces in Australia.
“The programs I have worked in for the last 20 years required a US and Australian classified top-level security clearance. While I published a lot during this time, my security clearance meant that none of my research papers could be published or used to approach Australian universities for teaching appointments.”
“After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, the industry took a big hit and funding for next-generation programs was cut. We decided to come back to Australia but I was unable to go back to teaching at university,” Dr Bradley said.
Dr Bradley completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and started teaching at TAFE NSW in March 2018.
“I really enjoy passing on my skills and experience and I love seeing things just ‘click’ with students. Having a better understanding about the world and the way it works and seeing them have a lightbulb moment where everything falls into place is gratifying.”
“I’ve done a lot of private tutoring in school and university. What I like about vocational education, is that it’s not learning by rote or just theoretical, it’s applied learning and more practical.”