Q Tell us about your childhood
A I had a very happy, bookish childhood. I grew up with my parents and my brother Jamie in Holywood, Co Down.
I was never a star of the sports field, so music was really my passion at school. I sang in choirs, I played the flute in orchestras and bands, and I was also very lucky to travel.
My parents weren't big on luxuries but they did always make a point of us having a family trip together over the summer every year, and I think this is where I got my taste for science and engineering.
I remember one trip where we were fortunate enough to go to Florida and we went to the Nasa Kennedy Space Centre and some other science museums and it really ignited a passion in me for aircraft, aerospace, and really my curiosity in general. I got so excited, and still do, when I step up on an aircraft and when we line up on a runway and hear the engines roar. Even more so now that I work as an aerospace engineer and help design them.
I initially wanted to become a pilot - I actually did a gliding and flying scholarship at school with the air cadets - and went into engineering as a back-up option, but I realised I actually enjoyed designing the thing, and working out how it worked so much, that that's what I wanted to do. And hence I went into aerospace engineering.
Q What are you most proud of?
A Completing my masters degree. It was invigorating but brutal and it really tested my reserves. Since then I'm most proud of creating a career path out of my combined interests of baking and engineering.
The Baking In Space Show is part of that result. I'm incredibly grateful to our supporters, the British Council, Science Foundation Ireland and Yakult, for making it happen.
It reassures me we must be doing something right and that people are enjoying what we're making.
Q The one regret you wish you could amend?
A I can't think of one. I really try and live by the philosophy that things are only mistakes if you don't learn from them and so I always try not to regret anything if it made me a better person in the long run. The trait I wish I could change though, is my tendency to procrastinate.
That's something that's been with me for a long time and is probably the bane of my life.
Q What about phobias. Do you have any?
A Yes, absolutely. Wasps are my Kryptonite. It's become a joke among my friends.
They know when they see a wasp or two because I go into tracking mode as I call it, where I try to follow them in the air.
There's a funny story to do with that from Bake Off, actually, where during one of the show-stopper judgings, Tom was getting his show-stopper judged and I was on my seat and I felt something drop into my shirt collar - then I heard Candice gasp behind me and we realised, well, she realised, it was a wasp. I frantically ran around the tent whilst Sue called for a paramedic. Candice and Jane ripped my shirt off and ushered the insect away while I was hyperventilating. It was such an extreme reaction, it was completely embarrassing and that's how I ended up topless in front of Mary Berry.
Q The temptation you cannot resist?
A I don't have many vices, but it's always an extra slice of dessert.
One is never enough. I've tried to combat that by cutting myself smaller slices but then I know I've done that so I might have three or more.
Q Your number one prized possession?
A It's some real-life astronaut food, a tiramisu from the same batch that was sent up with the European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst to the International Space Station. Why is it so special to me? Well it's priceless.
You can't buy it anywhere, and it's a combination of my two loves: baking and incredible engineering. There's so much incredible engineering that goes into space food, and I was lucky enough that it was gifted to me by Romain Charles, who features in our Baking in Space show, and I'll be talking more about it there.
It will never get eaten. It's the promise of what's inside that makes it so prized to me.
Q The book that's most impacted your life?
A I have a terrible memory for books. I tend to read in batches, so I won't read anything for six months and then I'll read a load of books in quick succession - more non-fiction these days.
I've got a terrible memory retention, so I can't remember the exact name, but the most impactful book was on the physics of flight that I read cover to cover.
Some people would find it deadly dull, but it answered so many questions to me as a child.
Q If you had the power or authority, what would you do?
A I'd move everyone who wanted to on to a four-day working week. I've been fortunate enough to do it for a few years, and I feel happier, with much better balance in life.
It means I've got more time to dedicate to the things I really love doing. I realise I'm in a very lucky position, but for a long time I hadn't even considered it as an option and then post-Bake Off when I had this mixture of potential baking and engineering work, I realised it was an option on the table.
Q What makes your blood boil every time without fail?
A Littering. It's so unnecessary, gratuitous and lazy, and it ruins it for everybody. It's just so easy to put stuff in the bin in the first place.
Q Who has most influenced you in life?
A Undoubtedly my parents. They taught me the values of hard work and being kind to everyone you meet. They've also both got great senses of humour. I'll leave that to others to decide if that's been passed down or not, but they've always been unfailingly supportive of whatever I've wanted to do. They're always the first people I call whenever I get exciting news.
Q Your top three dinner party guests, dead or alive, and why?
A First would probably be Elon Musk. He's a divisive character but fascinating and undeniably an engineering leader. I'd love to just find out what he really thinks, and not just what Twitter Elon Musk thinks.
Second, I'd have to get a baker - let's say Nigella Lawson. She can cook up a storm, and I don't want to do all the cooking. I'd imagine she's got some incredible anecdotes from her time in showbiz.
And thirdly, this is going to sound very pompous, but I think it'd be fun to have some kind of Greek philosopher there, obviously hauled back from the dead and with a translator, maybe someone like Archimedes or someone who came up with some of the incredible maths that we know. I'd hope some of that intelligence would rub off.
Q The best piece of advice you've ever received?
A That it's worth spending money on the things that connect you to the ground - shoes, tyres and mattresses. I treated myself to a new mattress last year, having had a sofa bed for years, and I feel like I have a new back.
Very boring but very practical and made a tangible impact to my quality of life.
Q The unlikely interest or hobby that you love?
A It would be surfing, or at least attempting to. I wanted some winter sun last year so I went with a mate on a week-long course to learn how to surf in Fuerteventura with a French company called UCPA which is subsidised by the French government.
It's all taught in French so it was a good chance to practice my language skills, but perhaps that's also to blame for my enthusiastic but lacklustre performance on the waves.
But it was very good fun and I learned a lot of words for French drinks.
Q The poem that touches your heart?
A It would probably have to be Invictus. It's a classic. That last line, 'I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul', it really rings in my head any time I am asked about a quote that inspires me. And it's also quite poetic really because my mum and my dad volunteered at two of the Invictus Games.
They do a lot of volunteering now that they're retired and they were the only Northern Irish volunteers at both of those games. I'm very proud of them, that they're enjoying their retirement and giving back.
Q The happiest moment of your life?
A Opening up the envelope and finding out I'd got a place at the University of Cambridge.
That was a complete dream come true, and very unexpected. It was a real sense of validation for working hard at school and being bookish. It was incredible.
Q And the saddest?
A Probably also whilst at university. I'd pulled an all-nighter for one of my important assignments and I was feeling like a complete fraud.
It was totally self-inflicted. I was tired, I was sleep-deprived, and I just felt like I didn't belong there and that everything was doomed. That was a real low point. But when I handed it in the next day, I felt a lot better.
Q The one event that made a difference in your life?
A This is going to sound odd, but not getting the Bake Off trophy. Obviously I was a finalist, but I didn't win, which at the time was a bit disappointing, but in hindsight not winning gave me the freedom to pursue what I wanted to, rather than following the default route of writing the cook book.
So I had the space to work it out, which led me to the happy balance I have today.
Q What's the ambition that keeps driving you forward?
A I love entertaining people and I love teaching, so building on the already successful Baking in Space live events I created with my pal Niamh (Shaw). I still encounter a lot of young people who think of engineers as mechanical or dull in some way, and that's just never been my experience, so I want to help change that perception. And also, making my parents proud and fulfilling my potential are still huge drivers for me.
Q What's the philosophy that you live by?
A It costs nothing to be kind, and even if you're having a bad day, it's no reason to ruin somebody else's. I always try to be empathetic as well. If someone is ever rude I always try and see the best in people. I don't always succeed.
Q How do you want to be remembered?
A Amongst friends and family for being kind and thoughtful, and if I'm lucky enough to do bigger projects in baking and engineering, that I'd brought a smile on people's faces, and hopefully helped to change the perception of engineers and engineering, leaving the world a better place than I found it - while smiling.
The Baking in Space events are being sponsored by Yakult who are going into space for experiments with astronauts on the International Space Station in collaboration with Japan Aerospace Exploration agency (JAXA). Their mission is to study the influence of Yakult's bacteria on the human body. Baking in Space will be available via webcast with free registration. Tickets available from britishcouncil.ie/baking-in-space