Ashbourne Community School, and N.U.I. Maynooth
Bsc in Physics with Astrophysics. Currently working toward PhD in Physics.
N.U.I. Maynooth, SRON, Tudor Windows
Researcher on Instrumentation for space telescopes.
ROCKET SCIENCE!!! I am a physics researcher and a dad of two girls. My research is aimed at developing new simulation techniques for analysing instruments that will fly into space aboard the next generation of space telescopes. The latest mission that we are helping the European Space Agency with is called SPICA, the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astronomy. It aims to discover how the first galaxies formed, how planets form, and even analyse the atmospheres of exo planets that could prove the existence of life outside our solar system. The simulations we run help us to understand how the instruments will behave once they are in space. We also collaborate with the Space Research Institute of the Netherlands (SRON) where they build the instruments. I spent the summer working there this year.
My Typical Day
Sit at the computer puzzling over mathematical simulations until I either get a headache or get a ‘Ureka! moment’.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would use the money to travel to schools in order to perform fun physics experiments with the students so that I could help get them excited about the cool subject of physics and space science.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Totally Mad Scientist!
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
eh…….. Next question???
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Johnny Logan…Nah, just kidding. I’d have to say Pink Floyd, although my daughter demands I say One Direction???
What's your favourite food?
Ice Cream and Jellies.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Worked with a travelling carnival for a summer. Being a Carnie is something everyone should try once.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) Good Health and Happiness for me and all the people I know and love. 2)Become an Astronaut. 3) Be a famous Rock Star!
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a fly without wings……..a ‘walk’