Leinster Rugby winger Adam Byrne on studying with UCD Biomedical Engineering

‌I started rugby quite late at the age of 15. I had always had a huge interest in sport but I preferred Gaelic Football and my school wasn’t big into rugby! My dream was to play sport at the highest level. I knew making it as a professional rugby player would be a difficult task so I always held my studies in high regard and gave it my best. Balancing sport and academics has been difficult but for me they compliment each other and seem to bring out the best from one another! If I only had rugby in my life it would feel as if you’re whole life revolved around it, while academics is an environment I also enjoy and have a separate bunch of friends in. I’m particularly grateful for the ‘challenge’ of pursuing an engineering degree when I’m injured, it allows me to focus on something else! I also think that by having other pathways in life it keeps you refreshed and invigorated for the sporting side!

Deciding to go to UCD has been one of the best decisions of my life! I can’t stress enough how accommodating UCD have been to me when trying to balance both sport and academics. I became a member of the UCD Ad Astra Academy and they’ve been a great help but the Engineering board have been exceptionally helpful. Without their help I would never be able to complete my degree, they have allowed me to take a reduced workload and have always been proactive when exams, lectures or labs clashed with games. Although the reduced workload means my degree will take longer I don’t mind too much. It allows me to give both rugby and engineering my best efforts.

This year rugby wise has been a surreal year for me. I made my debut as an 18 year old a few years back, making me the youngest player to play for Leinster rugby but have been hindered with injuries since. The last two seasons have been particularly enjoyable, playing with the first team and feeling like a true professional! This season I made my European debut in the champion’s cup, played in the Aviva and have dotted down for a few “mince pies” (tries) as well! The exams in Semester 1 coincided with the European games making it a crazily busy period for me, but again the Engineering board and lecturers were extremely supportive.

I still have another while yet to complete the masters at my pace but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time in UCD and eventually hope to use my Biomedical Engineering degree in a sporting or performance environment.

Adam Byrne began his academic studies with the UCD Engineering DN150 programme and is now studying a Masters in Biomedical Engineering. If you are interested in studying with the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture you should register now for the upcoming UCD Engineering Open Evening which takes place on Wednesday January 18th 2017. Register for free here: UCD Engineering Open Evening