NUI Galway, Johnson and Johnson, Trinity College Dublin
Research and development engineer
Trinity College Dublin
I love being busy, getting out with my friends, meeting new people and seeing new things.
I grew up in Kilkenny city where I went to school in St. Canices N.S. and then C.B.S. Kilkenny. I lived in Galway for 8 years after that, where I learned to be an engineer. I live in Dublin now with my girlfriend Sarah. I love to play music and I can play the flute, guitar and the bagpipes! I also like sport and play tag rubgy and soccer with my friends.
I use computer simulations to design and test treatments that save the lives of people who have heart attacks
In the past, if you wanted to make a new invention you would have to build a model of it and use it to test whether the invention worked properly or not. After any problems were found, you would have to fix them and build a new version of the model. Usually many different versions of the model would need to be built.
Now we can use computer simulations to test a new invention and if it needs to be redesigned, this can be done easily and quickly and tested again. This saves on the cost and time taken to make new products and means that interesting new things can be quickly made.
I use computer simulations to make sure that medical devices that are put into the heart will safely last for a long time.
My Typical Day
I go into my office and work on projects and meet other people to help them with theirs too.
I wake up, get ready, have some breakfast, and then cycle my bike into Dublin city centre to where I work in Trinity College. I work in an office with 5 other people who all do research that is similar to mine, some of them do experiments and work in a lab, and some of them do computer simulations like me. Some are only starting to learn how to be an engineer, and I help to teach them new things and I answer any questions they have.
The simulations that I do are a bit like the video game Minecraft, where you have to build a 3D model of an object. I make 3D models of the heart
What I'd do with the money
I’d build a toy model that people could use to see what it’s like to do heart surgery.
I’d love to build a toy surgery model, where people could have a go at performing heart surgery.
The person would have to snake a wire through a network of tubes (these represent the arteries and veins) and crush a blockage with a tiny balloon at the tip of the wire.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Clever, Smiley, Beardy
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
I’ve travelled to lots of interesting places to talk about engineering
What or who inspired you to become an engineer?
When I was 16 I started looking to university courses and I thought that the different types of jobs engineers could do sounded really interesting.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be an architect and a musician
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
I always wanted to play music or be a sound engineer.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Daft Punk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alt-J, too many to name!
What's your favourite food?
I love Indian food, especially naan bread
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Gone to Universtiy! Best time ever.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To always be happy, healthy and for Galway to win an All-Ireland :)
Tell us a joke.
The optimist says the glass is half full, the pessimist half empty. The engineer says it’s twice as big as it needs to be.