Colaiste Chriost Ri Cork (1983-1988), UCC (1988-1996)
University of Reading, (1996-1999), Queen’s University Belfast (1999-2000), UCD (2000-2020)
Favourite thing to do in science: Completing a package of research where an important question is asked, a process to deliver an answer is developed and implemented, definitive observations are made, and finally results are published.
My Work: A mixture of research, teaching and school administration. Research is in catalysts for solar energy conversion, bio-fuels and bio-chemical production and environmental cleanup
I deliver lectures, supervise undergraduate laboratory sessions and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students involved in research.
My research field is in the applications of catalysts to environmental and energy problems. These include treatments of emissions from vehicles and electricity generators, development of fuel cell power systems, synthesis of sustainable bio-fuels, and the trapping and utilization of solar energy to generate other sustainable fuels from carbon dioxide.
I am currently coordinating a new UCD programme in Chemistry with Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry and coordinating a taught MSc programme and these take a significant amount of my time.
My Typical Day: Delivering lectures, supervising research and undergraduate student laboratory sessions, developing new programmes in sustainable chemistry
What I'd do with the money: I’d use it to support UCD’s Second Level School Outreach programme.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
undertall, not overweight
Who is your favourite singer or band?
It used to be things like David Bowie and U2, but now its things like Irish and American folk. I’m getting very old.
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Skied off an Alp backwards (it was a mistake at the time).
What did you want to be after you left school?
A scientist, I thought I was going to be a biochemist but was converted during my BSc
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Only a little
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Confirmed an alkene oxidation mechanism in car exhaust catalysts
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
Uncle Quentin (is the Famous Five still a thing?) and Mr Cremin (my secondary school science / chemistry teacher)
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
I’d like to think a Cork footballer.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I’d like the hairline, waistline and liver performance that I had when I was 25.
Tell us a joke.
A neutron walked into a bar… He really hurt himself.