On the 1st Sept, the UCD School of Physics held (by Zoom) our annual Physics Graduation & Medals ceremony. Graduates, friends, family and staff were invited to join remotely our new Head of School, Assoc. Prof. Emma Sokell.

On the 1st Sept the UCD School of Physics held (by Zoom) our annual Physics Graduation & Medals ceremony. Graduates, friends, family and staff were invited to join remotely.

A warm welcome and congratulations were given by our new Head of School, Assoc. Prof. Emma Sokell.

Members of the three families providing the medal presented their medals to:

O'Raifeartaigh medal & prize to Maxime Gadioux
Nevin medal & prize to Sarah Dungan
Porter medal & prize to Beth Fitzpatrick

The event took the annual class photo via Zoom, and provided both staff with the opportunity to congratulate students achieving their degrees during such an unusual year, plus gave a forum to students to say hello to one another on this special day.

A video link of the event is available to view for those who could not attend on the day here - https://vimeo.com/612466678

The class photo is available by this photo link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ooGuD7mSIl0IUTovwuoJY4vKan-8znxR/view?usp=sharing

Enterprise Ireland success for the Ultrafast and NanoOptics Research Group

Sept 2021: Prof. Zerulla’s research group in UCD Physics is providing the nanotechnology behind PicoGlaze’s environmentally friendly technology. The invention is capable of dynamically changing the thermal radiation and absorption characteristics of glass windows. The technology is based on electric field-assisted alignment of highly anisotropic molecules which act as antennae between two glass sheets controllable through the application of a modulated small electric field. This switching alters the thermal radiation properties of the window system – thus enabling end users to allow heat into/out of their buildings as required. Alignment of anisotropic material in the layer alters the thermal radiation properties of the glass. Enterprise Ireland has just awarded a commercialisation grant for the commercial exploitation of the disruptive technology aiming for significant energy savings in glazed buildings and hence reduction of our carbon footprint.

UCD launches Quantum Science Research Centre

July 2021: The UCD Centre for Quantum Engineering, Science, and Technology launched on July 29th 2021. More than 25 academic staff from 4 Schools in UCD are involved in this interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to understanding and delivering next generation quantum enhanced technologies. Led by Dr. Andrew Mitchell from the School of Physics the centre is built around four core pillars: quantum devices, quantum computation, quantum information & simulations, and quantum literacy. The Centre adds to the growing momentum shown in the School and University in this exciting arena. More details at https://www.ucd.ie/quantum/

Physics 57 Event Available Online

Our virtual alumni event, Physics 57 was held on July 6th with wonderful talks from our guest speakers:
Gerald Fleming, Meteorological Consultant and Recipient of The the European Meteorological Society’s Silver Medal 2019
Dr. Valerie Connaughton, Program Scientist, Astrophysics Division of Nasa

For anyone who wasn’t able to join us on the night simply click the image to access a recording or copy and paste this link into your browser:

Scroll to the following timings for each speaker:
Intro & Welcome by Marin Grunewald 00.00/start of recording
Mr. Gerald Fleming on ‘Climate Change – Is it Science v Society’: 1 minute 55 seconds
Prof. Padraig Dunne on The Thomas Preston Scholarship and Phase 3 Building Plans: 45 minutes
Dr. Valerie Connaughton on ‘NASA’s astrophysics program in the 2020s and beyond’: 1 hour 8 minutes
Dr. Steve Campbell on ‘C-QuEST’: 1 hour 59 minutes
Prof. Padraig Dunne: 2 hours

Emeritus Prof. Peter Hogan publishes authoritative book on General Relativity

July 2021: The School is pleased to announce the publication of "Frontiers in General Relativity" by Emeritus Professor Peter Hogan. The book is aimed at advanced students and young researchers in general relativity and discusses some of the biggest open questions in the field today. Readers of the book will find provocative examples interspersed in the text that help to find novel representations of the uses of particles and photons. Click the image to learn more!

Enterprise Ireland funding success for the Advanced Optical Imaging Group

May 2021: The School congratulates Associate Prof. Brian Vohnsen and the Advanced Optical Imaging group on securing funding from Enterprise Ireland in conjunction with industry to develop ophthalmic instrumentation. The funding comes from Enterprise Ireland's highly competitive Innovation Partnership Programme which supports research working towards the development of new and improved products, processes and services, helping to generate new knowledge and know-how.

Dr. Donal MacKernan awarded NovaUCD Licence of the Year

March 2021: The School of Physics is congratulates Dr. Donal MacKernan who is the recipient of the 2021 NovaUCD Licence of the Year Award for the development of a disruptive molecular switch platform technology. During 2020 this technology was licensed by NovaUCD to a US-based company Fionnachtain Inc with an initial application as a point-of-care medical diagnostic for COVID-19 and influenza. The molecular switch platform is a specialised hinge protein with sensor and function domains and can be manufactured using standard recombinant protein technology. The flexibility of the design allows a wide variety of applications including medical diagnostics, food and environmental testing, and therapeutics.

School of Physics Awarded Juno Practitioner Status

March 2021: The School of Physics has been awarded a Juno Practitioner Award by the Institute of Physics. This award recognises steps we are taking to understand & improve gender balance. The School has investigated gender balance in a broad range of areas by gathering data and consulting with physics staff & students. We have established baselines in terms of the gender breakdown among staff, postgraduate, and undergraduate students and degree outcomes. As detailed in the action plan, we will monitor these data annually and increase participation. The implementation of our Action Plan in the coming years will enhance diversity and improve our School.
The Juno committee members are Assoc Prof Sheila McBreen (chair), Prof Brian Rodriguez (vice chair), Prof Padraig Dunne, Bairbre Fox, Dr. Sharon Shannon, postdoctoral researcher Dr Julia Subbotina, Angela O’Toole, Orla Byrne, and postgraduates Pallavi Kumari & Silas O’Toole. All staff in the School have contributed to the application.

UCDs Meadhbh Griffin develops software for ESA space experiment

March 2021: UCD MSc student Meadhbh Griffin will soon see her work launched into space. Meadhbh has spent the last five months as an intern at ESA writing and testing software for an experiment set to fly later this year on the Hungarian-led RadCube CubeSat. While its main mission is to probe space weather in Earth orbit, RadCube will also host a miniature experiment to test how commercial computer memories withstand space radiation.

Major development for Irish space sector as UCD launches Space Centre

December 2020: The UCD Centre for Space Research (C-Space) was officially launched on December 15th 2020. More than 15 academic staff from 5 Schools in UCD are involved in this interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to space. The School of Physics plays a leading role in several of the C-Space research themes, including gamma-ray detectors, astrophysics and nanosatellites & payloads. By building on nationally leading projects such as EIRSAT-1, Ireland’s first satellite, C-Space will be a key national resource for space expertise and training. Click the image for more information or visit the centre's website https://www.ucd.ie/space/