Helen joined NPL in 1998 following a temporary lectureship at the University of Oxford, where she worked on a range of experiments designed to test the theory of quantum electrodynamics by spectroscopy of highly charged ions. She previously undertook her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Oxford, being awarded the DPhil degree in 1994 for spectroscopic studies of highly charged ions using an electron beam ion trap (EBIT).
Helen became an NPL Fellow in 2015, and in October 2017 was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. She represents NPL on various international committees, including the Consultative Committee for Time and Frequency (CCTF) and several of its working groups. She is also the current chair of the Executive Committee of the European Frequency and Time Forum and a member of the CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Constants.
Helen is the Head of Time and Frequency at NPL and an NPL Fellow in Optical Frequency Standards and Metrology. She leads NPL’s research activities in optical frequency metrology using femtosecond combs, which are part of the research programme to develop a new generation of high accuracy optical atomic clocks based on laser-cooled trapped ions and atoms. She is also involved in NPL research on improved methods for comparing optical clocks developed in different laboratories, and recently coordinated a three-year European project International timescales with optical clocks.
Helen enjoys mentoring more junior scientists as part of NPL’s mentoring scheme, and recently supported the development of a new “Career pathways” framework. She is also involved in diversity and inclusion activities, and chairs NPL’s Juno committee, which recently submitted a successful application for a Juno Practitioner award.