Simon completed his PhD in 2009 on the topic of topological phases in quantum mechanics. He then started thinking seriously about waves and metamaterials, spending a brief period in Italy working on the physics of moving media. After this he took up an EPSRC postdoctoral fellowship in theoretical physics at St Andrews University, working on cloaking, transformation optics and quantum effects in metamaterials. At present he holds a Royal Society TATA University Research Fellowship at the University of Exeter, and works on the problem of how to design metamaterials. This difficult problem has led him into apply many interesting areas of mathematics to physics, from complex analysis, to differential geometry, topology, and optimization.