Really enjoyed it all. Great questions that really got the brain going!
Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh (1986-1992); University College Cork (1992-1996); University College London (1998-1999)
B.Sc (Hons) in Geology and an M.Sc in Hydrogeology
Geophysical survey company 1997-1998. Geological Survey of Ireland Groundwater Section (1999 – 2001). Environmental Consultant at a number of companies (2001 – 2006). Environmental Protection Agency (2006 – today!)
Project Manager for a landfill remediation project. Basically the project involves intervening at an abandoned landfill site that posed a significant risk to groundwater and was causing a lot of odour problems, making life very difficult for the local community. Thankfully we’ve reduced a lot of the impacts and we’re waiting on news of funding for the long-term clean-up.
All Views my own!
My Typical Day
There isn’t one! That’s what’s great about my job; you’re constantly thrown into the deep end and need to learn new things to do your job well.
What I'd do with the prize money
I’d use it to beef up my school visiting kit: Compressed Air Rocket kit (Newtons Laws and hell it just fun), Ultraviolet light box for mineral shows (many things in your day to day life do seriously weird things under UV light), lots of high quality magnifying glasses for examining fossils and crystals (many crystals look so perfectly formed you just won’t believe they’re not man-made).
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious. Talkative. Nerd.
What did you want to be after you left school?
A geologist. We had a really great Geography Teacher Tony Doherty or “Doc” as everyone called him who made Physical Geography and especially the geology part really interesting and I was hooked from then on. Thanks Doc.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really. But I certainly wasn’t a star pupil either (my older brother was in the A-Class; I was a bit further down the alphabet). Things were looking very bleak in 6th year when my major achievement was going from an “F” to and “E” in Physics between Christmas and my Mocks at Easter. I did manage to get a C1 in the Leaving though, THE hurdle I had to get over to get into my Earth Science course.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
This changes all the time. I’ve got Daft Punk on an endless loop at the moment; but I keep coming back to REM.
What's your favourite food?
PIzza. Pizza and more Pizza. (other healthy eating alternatives are available, consume as part of a balanced diet, terms and conditions aplye, etc.)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Kite buggying. Its really cool and really fast, but can go wrong very easily. There’s a video of me being dragged along the ground backwards by a power kite in the Phoenix Park, screaming for help (no I won’t put it up. There’s a LOT of cursing and laughing at my expense).
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
In order of preference (and not reality): 1. Work for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena as a planetary geologist on the Mars Rovers Project. 2. Get to visit the International Space Station. 3. Win the Lotto (or it the jackpot is under €500k I’d settle for I’m a Scientist Get me Out of Here)
Tell us a joke.
Garda stops Erwin Schrödinger at a checkpoint and asks where he’s going. “On my way to the lab and it’s really urgent I get there soon”. The Garda says it won’t take long and can he have a look in his boot. Garda has a thorough root around and then shouts “Hey, did you know you’ve got a dead cat in a box back here?”. Schrödinger shouts back, really annoyed “Well, it is NOW!”.