For want of a better two word explanation Leon is a rocket scientist. Travelling really fast through the atmosphere generates a lot of heat due to friction from the air. Leon’s work looks at how to stop things that do this from melting. It’s pretty hard to travel fast enough to melt something unless you drop the object from space and so this problem usually only applies to rockets and re-entry vehicles.
Not all his work looks at rockets though, in fact rockets are a rubbish way to get to space. Ideally you’d like to fly there in some sort of plane, but to do that you need a special (and non-existent) type of engine called a SCRAM jet. Leon is currently a post-doctoral researcher working with the University of Texas at Austin researching SCRAM jet technology.
When Leon isn’t sciencing the science he can be found talking about it. Leon is very passionate about science communication. In a sense communicating science is more important than the science its self, after all what use is a discovery if it dies with its discoverer?