Entrepreneur helps teenage astrophysicist aim high

A West Midlands-based tech entrepreneur, has dedicated the past six months to supporting an aspiring young astrophysicist so he can become the first in his family to attend university.

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Rob Laker, who founded his data consultancy GEL Data Solutions in 2007 after studying astrophysics at UCL, gives free weekly one-to-one Physics tuition to K-Ryan, a Year 12 student from Ormiston Forge Academy.  Rob tutors K-Ryan through education charity The Access Project, which offers intensive university application support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and pairs them with high-flying graduate tutors.

Rob, who enjoys the experience of tutoring said: “I like the school I’m dealing with, because it reminds me of the school I was at and there is that satisfying side of it – seeing them do well.”

His student K-Ryan says the tutoring has boosted his grades significantly and he now has his sights set on studying either Physics at Oxford or Astrophysics at UCL or Bristol universities.


K-Ryan said: “I really want to become an astrophysicist and I don’t think I would be able to do it on my own. I really want to thank him for all he’s done and he’s really done a lot.”

“Rob has a Masters in Astrophysics and our shared passion makes for really interesting discussions! When he asked if I wanted to actually observe stars, constellations and the moon using high end telescopes and observing equipment, I jumped at the chance!"