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UCD School of Physics

Scoil na Fisice UCD

School of Physics and RDS distinguished speaker series 2012

Seminars associated with the School of Physics

Physics Workshops and Tutorials

School of Physics Open Evening 2013

The School of Physics invites students, teachers and parents to our Open Evening on Tuesday, 3rd December in the Science Centre, UCD.The event begins at 6.30pm.

The evening will include an introduction to the program by Prof Padraig Dunne, talks on career paths from three physics graduates and on the undergraduate experience by a current student and intern in CERN. The presentations will be followed by an informal session where students will have the opportunity to talk with lecturers and the speakers. 

The event is free, but booking is essential. Please email Bairbre.fox@ucd.ie or phone: 01-716 2361. 

Speakers

  • Evelyn Cusack, Deputy Head of Forcasting, Met Éireann
  • Julie Lucy, Principal Medical Physicist at Blackrock Clinic
  • Kevin Maguire, 3rd year Theoretical Physics student and CERN intern 
  • Harry McGeehan, Senior Pension Consultant with Allied Pension Trustees

Speaker Biographies

Evelyn Cusack, Deputy Head of Forecasting, Met Éireann

Evelyn has a BSc from UCD in Physics and Maths and an MSc in Physics. She joined Met ÉIREANN in 1981 and has been working as a weather forecaster ever since.

Meteorology is the Physics of the atmosphere and thus only Physics/Maths/Meteorology graduates can become Meteorologists and Climate Scientists. UCD is the only Irish University offering an MSc in Meteorology and Evelyn contributes some practical experience in forecasting to this course.

The main function of a forecaster involves providing weather forecasts and warnings to the general public and special interest clients in 'order to save lives and property'.

Part of her work also involves radio and television weather broadcasts and she is acutely aware that she and her fellow forecasters are almost unique as Science graduates doing live daily broadcasts in Ireland. As such she strives to display the scientific method of investigation to the public and of course to journalists and tries to mitigate the 'bad science' constantly promoted by much of the media in relation to weather and climate change.

Evelyn, as Secretary of the Irish Meteorological Society, also tries to foster and promote a public interest in Meteorology and Physics and personally invites you to join!

Julie Lucey, Principal Medical Physicist at Blackrock Clinic

I'm a Medical Physicist working in Blackrock Clinic. I initially studied a Bachelors Degree in Science (Experimental Physics) and a PhD in Experimental Physics (radiation physics and radiochemistry) from University College Dublin.

I work with Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, Angiography, CT, Dental and Mammography modalities where I am involved in clinical support, equipment management and testing, procurement of new technology, radiation protection, education and research. I am involved in delivering Radioactive Iodine Therapy to treat cancer and also assist with Ultra Violet light therapy for the treatment of skin disorders. I am Laser Safety Advisor and Radiation Protection Advisor for the hospital. I also do some part-time Medical Physics lecturing in TCD, UCD and RCSI.

Kevin Maguire, 3rd year Theoretical Physics Student

There is a range of physics degrees available in UCD. Experimental, theoretical, astrophysics and joint majors. There is also a science “omnibus” option that allows the student to sample lots of different subjects to help them decide on their main area of interest.              

For me I knew from the very start that I wanted to be a Theoretical Physicist. If you have a love for maths and an insatiable desire to know more and more physics then I would recommend this degree to you. Many of the physicists that are known in the public domain are indeed theoretical physicists, such as Stephen Hawking, Erwin Schrodinger, Michio Kaku, Lisa Randall and others who are regularly on the discovery channel.           

In the Theoretical physics degree program in UCD we do many of the same physics modules as the other physics degrees, such as, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, nuclear physics and many more. The difference is in our mathematical grounding. In the early years of the degree most of our modules are in the School of Maths. We learn special relativity, mathematical modelling and more quantum mechanics from a purely mathematical point of view. We also study number theory, computational science, linear algebra and vector spaces.          

This degree and the dedicated lecturers who present the material are of an international standard. Their teaching ability and their guidance has led to me being chosen as an intern at CERN in summer 2013. I will be investigating charge parity violation at the LHC in Geneva. 

Harry McGeehan, Senior Pension Consultant with Allied Pension Trustees

I entered university in 1998 fully intending to do a computer science degree. However after completing 2 years course work, I opted for Experimental Physics as my primary degree. I felt the Physics degree was a more challenging/rewarding subject as I would be using both theoretical and practical skills. I completed my Physics degree in 2002 and earned an MSc in Computational Science in 2003.

Since leaving UCD, I began work in the Financial Services sector with Bank of Ireland and currently work as a Senior Pension Consultant with Allied Pension Trustees. My work involves consultation services and advice to company pension schemes. The combination of mathematical, reporting and computational skills are invaluable in carrying out my duties.