Jordan's journey: pursuing a passion for Physics and Astrophysics at UCLan

In 2020, Jordan Wolken made the decision to leave his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky to study at the University of Central Lancashire, and he's gone from strength to strength since.

After deciding to study in the UK, Jordan picked UCLan as his destination of choice; with the central location in Preston, well-designed campus, smaller class sizes and strong academic reputation all playing a significant role in his decision.

He successfully achieved a place on the BSc (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics undergraduate degree, a field that has always ignited his passion. UCLan's exceptional Alston Observatory further cemented his choice, knowing he would have unique opportunities for practical exploration with the range of operable telescopes that not many other universities are able to offer.

UCLan's Alston Observatory
UCLan's Alston Observatory

Now in 2023, and with his time at UCLan ending, Jordan reflected on his experience. He spoke of cherished friendships formed both on and off campus, as well as invaluable travel experiences gained while living in the UK. The Foster Canteen also holds a special place in his heart as the area where he would gather with friends and create lasting memories.

Equally significant is his involvement in physics projects, such as his memorable third-year project that symbolised the immense effort and dedication he invested into his studies. Jordan was involved in sending a high-altitude balloon into near space, an impressive project that even achieved press coverage.

Jordan with the package of the high-altitude balloon sent into near space.
Jordan with the package of the high-altitude balloon sent into near space.

During the upcoming summer, Jordan will embrace the opportunity to share his knowledge and enthusiasm by taking on teaching roles to inspire and educate the next generation. These will be at summer camps in fantastic locations such as the Kentucky Science Center and Bellarmine University, where he will be teaching the foundations of calculus.

To aspiring students, Jordan encourages them to maintain an open mind when considering their fields of study and future careers, as new experiences can lead to unexpected paths. Personally, he never contemplated pursuing postgraduate study or a career in nuclear physics until he studied the Nuclear and Particle Physics module during his third year at UCLan, which ignited his passion and curiosity.

"Always keep an open mind to what you want to study or what field of work you want to go into, as new experiences may provide insight into a field you’ve never considered. "

Reflecting on his overall experience at UCLan, Jordan firmly believes that it has thoroughly prepared him for postgraduate study and future employment. As he aspires to work in the nuclear industry, the laboratory skills and coding expertise he acquired will undoubtedly contribute to a successful career in that sector. 

With the strong understanding of Physics Jordan has gained at UCLan, he is now ready to move to his next chapter, studying a postgraduate degree in Nuclear and Particle Physics at the University of Edinburgh. 

Find out more

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