A passion for visual perception and psychology

Lecturer Mark Hickton speaks to OT  about his professional passions and his career path

Mark Hickton

Mark Hickton is a lecturer on the ophthalmic dispensing courses at Bradford College. The main subjects he teaches are optics, ophthalmic lenses, and ophthalmic business and retail. Mark also works part-time as a dispensing optician for Specsavers and is an amateur magician. 

What is your professional passion? 

My professional passion and current focus for my scholarly activity is the area of visual perception and psychology.

What are you most proud of?

One of my favourite days of the year is our student graduation ceremony. I am very proud of all the students that have worked hard and graduated in ophthalmic dispensing on the way to their dispensing optician qualification.

What is your next career goal?

Time permitting, I would like to do more post-graduate study in visual perception and neuroscience and possibly create additional courses around these areas for our college.

How do you manage a work/life balance?

With difficulty! I attempt to keep my two jobs and hobbies separate, and try to make sure that I am allocating time fairly between my work, family and friends. 

What do you do to unwind?

I enjoy rock climbing and mountaineering. I love to go out in the wild to the Yorkshire Dales, Scottish Highlands and the Alps whenever I have time. Even when the weather is bad, I’ll go to an indoor climbing gym to keep fit and unwind. 

You have won the OT lottery. What are the first three things you would do with the £1m jackpot? 

First, fund an expedition to Everest – possibly a summit expedition, though I am not as young as I used to be. Second, help close family to get a new home. Third, a friend has got me into photography recently. I would buy a top-level camera and a set of lenses – this sounds basic, but have you seen the price of some camera lenses.

Do you have your next holiday booked?

I would love to go for another climbing expedition in the Alps, but my partner and I went on a cruise to Norway last year and I think she got hooked. It looks like it might be another cruise…