I went to primary school in Ballintotas NS and secondary school in Midleton College. I went to University College Cork to study organic chemistry and I now attend Dublin Institute of Technology for my PhD.
B.Sc. Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds
I worked as a teaching assistant in the Eureka Science Summer Camps for 2 years in University College Cork, I also am an instructor for the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland teaching kids from ages 6-12. I have also worked for Pfizer and Novartis in the labs helping to improve the way we are making medicines.
Walsh Fellow PhD Student in Teagasc
Favourite thing to do in science: I love learning how things work and solving problems
I am a 2nd year PhD student in Teagasc. I am 23 years old and a Cork man!
My name is William and I am a second year PhD student in Teagasc.
I have always loved science from a very young age! I remember I entered every science fair I could in primary school and I loved learning new things and seeing science happening before my eyes (colour changes and explosions especially). I entered the BT Young Scientist when I was 12 on a project looking at plastics and their impact on the environment and since then I knew I would be a scientist when I grew up.
I studied pharmaceutical chemistry in college and got to learn some really cool things and work for really awesome companies. I am now doing a PhD in food and I am really enjoying it.
In my spare time I like to play board games, read, play field hockey, and hang out with my friends!
I am looking forward to hearing from you and I hope you enjoy taking part!
^Me in goals for hockey!
I study how contamination can get into foods and how to stop it from happening
I am a second year PhD student studying how ‘gone off’ cleaning chemicals used in food production can get into the food and how to stop this. Cleaning is very important in producing food as we need to make sure that no tiny germs that could make us sick get into the food we eat. The cleaning products used in this cleaning process can ‘go off’ (just like the food in your home) and this can stick to the food if these cleaners are used. The aim of my work is to make sure we stop this from happening and reduce food waste!
My Typical Day
If I am not in the lab I can usually be found at my desk researching and reading for my next experiment!
I usually head into work for 9, which is just down the road from my house.
My day starts with logging into my computer and checking my emails and my diary to see what I have planned for the day. I like making a to do list the evening before so I know exactly what I need to do the next day. After this i set up everything I need for the day and get organised, making sure I am missing nothing!
If I have time I check the news and see if there are any interesting stories in the scientific community or any big global events happened over night. I then go for breakfast with my friends in the canteen and we catch up over a cup of tea.
I then head back into the lab and carry out my experiments. This changes every day and depends on what part of my project I am doing. I like this as its great to always be doing new things and collecting new results! Sometimes I’m working with bacteria, other times really cool machines or in the small factory we have in my work where we can try to see how the science works when we do it huge equipment, much much bigger than the lab.
At 1 pm myself and my friends head for lunch. this is different every day but my favorite day is Friday when we go to Amber and we get pizza (and most importantly garlic dip). We chat away and joke about before heading back to work for 2 pm. We sometimes go on walks and see the cows and the sheep we have where I work if the weather is good.
In the afternoon I continue my experiments or start researching to see what else I can do and what would be really cool to do myself. I also write during this time and make a plan for the next day. I head home at 5 and like to relax for the night, watching movies, playing board games or exercising before heading to bed and getting ready for the next day!
What I'd do with the money
I would spend in on getting researchers like me to get out of the lab/office and talk about their work to the general public!
I run an event called PubhD which is a monthly event where I get students and researchers to come in and talk about their work to the general public. They are not allowed use any complicated words or confusing sentences and talk about their work at a level that you and your parents would understand.
This is called scientific communication and ‘dissemination’ which means bringing the research we do to the general public in a way that they can understand. It is very important as people don’t know whats going on in cutting edge research as us scientists usually only tell other scientists abut our work or put it in special science magazines/books. The public will never read these so they may never know what is actually going on!
It is reasons like us not talking to the public properly that issues like vaccination and global warming have become highly debated with scientists saying one thing and the general public saying another!
I would use this money to help PubhD Ireland (Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford) to expand their events and possibly give a chance for budding researchers your age to meet the researchers (in science, arts, business, etc.), hear about their work, and ask any questions that you have and how to get involved yourselves!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
enthusiastic, friendly, and curious
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Years and Years
What's your favourite food?
Pizza with garlic dip
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went surfing with my friends for a week in Lahinch. None of us knew how to surf so we were all terrible but it was great fun :D
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be a Nuclear Chemist and go to study places like Chernobyl.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Ah I was always a good student but very forgetful!
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I got to work in a company helping to make medicine that helped people to get healthy and be able to live better lives.
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My dad. He is an engineer and encouraged me to learn how things work and always ask questions.
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be happy, travel the world, and to be a good role model like the people who inspired me.
Tell us a joke.
Where do you put dirty dishes? In the zinc.