chris marshall - header

United Kingdom

Chris Marshall

principal member of technical staff at imec, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Chris Marshall
“You learn about the country you’re going to, but you also learn about the place you’ve left.”
dover - white cliffs
Dover - White Cliffs

Symphony of art, theater, and nature

Chris Marshall is a man of few words but profound meaning. In 2021, he joined imec in the Netherlands to embark on a groundbreaking wireless positioning project. Growing up in southeast England, Chris used to believe that going abroad was a monumental endeavor involving packing everything and setting off on a plane or boat.

Exploring new cultures while rediscovering home

Chris’s professional journey has taken him and his family widely, working closely with international colleagues and living overseas for a period in Germany and now in the Netherlands. After completing his PhD at Imperial College in London, Chris gained valuable experience working for Philips Research in the UK before immersing himself in the vibrant German culture. He has called Sussex home for a significant part of his life, but Chris and his wife have moved abroad again and made the Netherlands their new home in 2021. Their global living is exemplified by their son pursuing a career in the English film industry while their daughter is a doctor in Australia. Reflecting on their experiences, Chris shares, “When you move to a new country, you learn about the place you’re going, but you also discover new things about the place you’ve left behind.” While living in the UK, Chris and their family considered celebrating Christmas with Mince Pies as a regular and expected tradition. However, it wasn’t until they struggled to find mincemeat in the Netherlands that they truly appreciated what a delightful treat it is.

Bonfire, treason, and plot

Bonfire Night on the 5th of November is a truly fascinating celebration in England. But it is not an official public holiday. Chris opens up about how Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, commemorates the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This conspiracy aimed to assassinate King James I of England and overthrow the Protestant government by blowing up the London parliament. Guy Fawkes, known initially as Guido Johnson, became a symbol of resistance against authority. The plot was masterminded by Robert Catesby and his cousin Thomas Wintour and Thomas Percy. Within days of the failed attempt, they were pursued and executed. To this day, cities across England hold processions on Bonfire Night, parading through the main streets with flaming torches and an effigy of Guy Fawkes, leading up to the customary fireworks display.

wiltshire - medieval village of castle combe
Wiltshire - Medieval village of Castle Combe
cornwall - st michaels mount island
Cornwall - St Michael’s Mount Island

Something for everyone

Moving on to the diverse charms of London, a city Chris had the privilege to experience first-hand in his early years. According to him, London offers abundant opportunities and caters to diverse interests and cultures. As well as the shopping (of course), there are the museums of South Kensington and the not-to-be-missed art galleries such as the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and Tate Modern on the banks of the river Thames.

london - national gallery
London - National Gallery

As a theater enthusiast, Chris highly recommends classic and contemporary theater productions in the city. Similar to Chris, anyone can have the pleasure of attending ‘The Mousetrap,’ a legendary whodunit by Agatha Christie, which holds the world record for being the longest-running play, with over 28,915 performances.

A gem that Chris advocates exploring is the Llangollen Canal. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and offers a distinct experience. This canal connects the Shropshire Union Canal at Hurleston Junction to Llantysilio Bridge near Llangollen. It takes three days to explore, slowly winding around hills, through tunnels, up and down lock staircases, and over scary iron aqueducts. Along the way – when not busy steering or operating the lock gates – take a moment to sit and marvel at the countryside and the barges leisurely traversing the water. Other notable mentions from Chris also include the breathtaking white cliffs of Dover and the untouched beauty of Cornwall’s coastlines, where nature reigns supreme.

Must see

Take a leisurely narrowboat ride in Llangollen Canal to enjoy the serene beauty of the Welsh countryside from a unique perspective.