Simon was born in Leamington Spa in 1985 and grew up in South Warwickshire, attending secondary school in Warwick. An early interest in the world around him and how it worked developed into a particular enthusiasm for chemistry towards the end of his time at school.
He was also lucky to do work experience with a local speciality resins manufacturer, which furthered his interest in applying chemistry to real life problems. In 2003, he moved to Cambridge to read Natural Sciences, although back home during the vacations he worked for Severn Trent Laboratories and then Qinetiq's fuels and lubricants centre. This allowed him the satisfaction of being able to put some of the classroom chemistry into action.
After a final year project on heterogeneously catalysed atmospheric reactions on titania, he graduated with an MSci in 2007. He is now close to completing a PhD (also in Cambridge) on the heterogeneous catalysed enantioselective hydrogenation of alkenes under the supervision of Prof. Richard Lambert.
Besides work, other activities Simon enjoys include spending time with friends, reading, walking up hills, organising science outreach activities for young people, and involvement in a local church.