From top secret work to classrooms at Ballina, Wollongbar
A NUCLEAR physicist who spent 20 years working on top secret projects will soon be teaching at the Wollongbar and Ballina TAFE campuses.
Dr Andrew J Bradley is a PhD in physics and maths and has an undergraduate qualification in chemistry.
His career highlights include 14 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," he said.
"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 has since completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and started teaching at TAFE NSW earlier this year.
Now he's set to teach some maths, chemistry, laboratory skills and environmental science units in courses at the Wollongbar, Ballina and Kingscliff campuses.
"I really enjoy passing on my skills and experience and I love seeing things just 'click' with students," he said.
"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."