Heralding from a small village in the New Forest, I made the move to London as an undergraduate to study Natural Sciences at UCL. Throughout my undergraduate studies I undertook several research projects within the LCN culminating in me completing an MRes in the department. It was during this time that I become fascinated by the complexity of atomic scale quantum systems and how novel techniques can be used to engineer properties towards their use in atomic scaled devices. The LCN harbours a great community of fantastic researchers from many fields across modern science. Not only does this encourage strong intradepartmental collaboration, but leads to unique opportunities to collaborate with world leading scientist across the world. As such, I eagerly accepted a PhD at the LCN to investigate the interactions of magnetic atoms on the surface of the fascinating new silicon counterpart to graphene, silicene. This has given me the opportunity to spend a year in Japan working alongside the co-inventors of the material.