Science Week!!!! YEAH!!! :-)
Limerick Institute of Technology 2006-2010; University College Dublin 2011-2013; National University of Ireland, Galway 2014- 2018
I have a BSc (Hons) in Chemical Instrumentation and Analysis, a MSc in Occupational Safety and Health, and I am now doing a PhD.
I have worked as an Assistant Quality Manager in a large manufacturing plant, where they made plastic milk bottles.
PhD researcher and occupational hygienist
I am a PhD student in NUI, Galway in the School of Physics. I started my PhD in February 2014. My work involves monitoring air and dust in homes. I am particularly interested in finding out what happens to the air quality in peoples’ homes after they replace windows and doors and put more insulation into the walls. By replacing windows and doors and putting in more insulation, you make your house more airtight which can mean that your home may be easier to heat but there may be negative effects, which is what I am looking at.
As part of my research, I will be looking at thermal comfort, this how warm or cold you find a room based on 90% of the population (lots of maths!). I hope to compare thermal comfort with another method call comfort vote, this is of importance as some people like a room to be more cold than others and I would like to see if there is a difference between the two methods.
I also look at how often you open and close windows and vents, this is call occupant behaviour. I want to see if occupants behaviour changes after windows and doors are replaced and more insulation is put in.
My Typical Day
I don’t have a typical day, every day is different for me, which makes me very lucky in my research.
Some days I go out to peoples homes (all around the country) and monitor air quality and take dust samples, and then I go back to my lab, analyze the results, clean the equipment, and get ready for the next day of sampling.
In the days where I am not sampling, I am in NUI, Galway, where I am Physics lab demonstrator and tutor in Occupational Hygiene.
I normally meet my Supervisors to give them updates on how I am going and discuss any problems I have had (the last problem was to do with a cable not connecting right, which meant that I couldn’t sample, but don’t worry I got a new one!). In between that there is a lot of sending emails and most importantly coffee!! Once a month, the whole department gets together and we all have coffee and LOTS of cake!!
In the evening I help run the Physics Society. We are organizing the Science Ball, which is one of the biggest balls in my University. I can’t wait to go!!!
What I'd do with the prize money
I would buy a new laptop so that I can show students real live monitoring of air quality
I am involved in primary school visits in NUI, Galway. Students get to see a wide range of physics experiments but I would like to show students how air quality changes depending on how many are in the room and what they are doing. Unfortunately, my laptop is a little bit old (7 years to be exact but still going strong!!) which means that the cable from my sensor won’t work with my laptop, but if I got a new one, I could connect my laptop to the sensor and also connect to a project that shows the students the changes in air quality.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Cool, awesome, and fun!!
What did you want to be after you left school?
I knew I wanted to be a scientist but I wasn’t sure what type of scientist… awesome or cool scientist, so somehow I have managed to be both!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No,I don’t remember getting into trouble but would have to check that one with my parents.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Ed Sheeran, but at the moment I love the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.
What's your favourite food?
I love to bake, so any type of cake is my favourite.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I do a physics magic show for primary school students, where I managed to fit 13 blown up balloons into a small pot!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. To finish my Phd in 3 years time, 2. world peace, and, 3. go on a trip around the world in a hot air balloon (maybe in 88 days!)
Tell us a joke.
Why doesn’t the sun go to college? Because it has a million degrees!