I went to primary school in Meath, Ireland, then high-school and university in Dublin, before coming to London
GCSEs (Irish equivalent), A-Levels (Irish equivalent), Undergraduate Bachelor’s in Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
I’ve worked many jobs, I worked at a summer camp in America for a summer, I was a binman with my friend in Vancouver, I was a builder, a delivery driver and a researcher in Nokia Bell Labs.
PhD Chemistry Research
University College London (UCL) & Imperial College London
I'm from Ireland, but I'm doing PhD research in London. I love playing sports / being active, travelling and going to techno/rap gigs with friends! 🕺
I grew up and went to university in Dublin, Ireland, before coming to London to start my PhD research. I’ve always loved playing sports and being active, it’s how I clear my head after long days at work. I always found it helped me study better in school!
I love going to the cinema and watching movies/TV, as well as going out with my friends to concerts and other events. I also really like travelling to other countries, and a real benefit of my work is that I’ve had the opportunity to visit places like Hawaii, Japan (I’m currently here now!), Germany, Los Angeles, Boston, Switzerland…
My pronouns are
I use computer models to discover cheap solar cells, so we can make more of them and fight climate change
In our research, we build computer programs which can calculate the maths behind our understanding of chemistry and physics. With these programs, we can then calculate chemical properties of materials, for example the temperature that ice will melt at, or how good a certain solar cell will be.
My main focus is trying to use these programs to discover materials which will make good solar cells, so we can make loads and loads of them to start making more renewable energy from the sun, and less burning of fossil fuels (like oil), to try fight climate change.
My Typical Day: I wake up, brush my teeth, grab my bags and leave for work (I skip breakfast because I'm usually not hungry in the morning). I get to work usually around 10 am, where I remotely log in to super-computers, where I do scientific calculations. I have lunch with my friends in my research group around 12pm, then back to the office for the afternoon – we usually have a one-hour meeting each afternoon, talking about research and current problems. I usually leave at 6pm and go to the gym to clear my head, then back home.
I wake up, brush my teeth, grab my bags and leave for work (I skip breakfast because I’m usually not hungry in the morning). I get to work usually around 10 am, where I remotely log in to super-computers. These are basically machines that have thousands of computers working together, and we use them to do really tough calculations that would take over a month on one computer, but can be done in an hour when you have 1000 computers all working on the calculation together. I have lunch with my friends in my research group around 12pm, then back to the office for the afternoon.
Most afternoons we have a meeting for an hour where people talk about what research they’re working on, any problems they’re having, and as a team we try to figure out the solutions to different problems. Sometimes we also discuss research from other teams in other countries, and what their research results tell us. I usually leave at 6pm and go to the gym to clear my head, then back home.
What I'd do with the money
I'd organise a competition where schoolkids come to watch short presentations from science researchers in my University (with questions after), and then vote for which is the most exciting and interesting
I study at Imperial College London, and many schools come to see the Science Museum and Natural History Museums next door. With the money, I would organise a competition where these school groups also come to watch short presentations from science researchers in my University about what they do and why it’s important (with questions after), after visiting the museums.
Then the groups can vote for (1) which is the most exciting and interesting and (2) which was the most surprising (something they didn’t know about before)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
smiley chemistry calculator
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Gone to Japan to work with other solar cell researchers – I got to see monkeys!!
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Science teachers in school and university, Jimmy Neutron, many others. I really liked figuring things out, so science was the perfect job!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Chemistry and Physics, I thought it was cool learning about what makes up everything in the world, and also if I could understand the subject it meant I had to spend less time studying or learning things off (instead I could just figure out answers in exams)
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would be a business person in a company working to save the environment
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Afterlife or Bicep
What's your favourite food?
Fried chicken burgers
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went to Hawaii for 2 weeks (first week was research work, second was holidays, I saw volcanos and turtles)
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be/stay happy, to figure out something important for fighting climate change, to stay healthy
Tell us a joke.
They say telling jokes is like taking candy from a baby, problem is, I've never taken candy from a baby before!