IOP Top 50 Placement Students in Ireland

16 September 2014

Penultimate-year physics students from colleges across Ireland had the opportunity to gain some valuable work experience over the summer break as part of the IOP’s Top 50 Placement scheme.

Aine Matthews

They were part of a group of 50 students across the UK and Ireland who were awarded bursaries of £2000 or the euro equivalent for eight-week placements in either industry or research. The projects included areas as diverse as:

  • The use of gold nanoparticles in improving radiotherapy carried out at Queen’s University Belfast
  • The commissioning, design and implementation of software for the quality assurance testing of diagnostic radiology equipment at Beaumont Hospital
  • The analysis of temperature and precipitation datasets of past climate for Ireland at Met Eireann
  • Investigation of the effect of thermal processing of photopolymer materials on holographic exposure carried out at Dublin Institute of Technology

In reporting back on their experiences, all of the students noted that the placements gave them highly valuable insights into seeing their academic college physics in action as well as highlighting areas that they might like to explore further.

Ciara O’Hara

Irish students did particularly well on the scheme, with seven placements in Ireland. Ciara O’Hara from DIT, who worked at Met Eireann, offered this advice to prospective students applying for the scheme: “Do something that makes you stand out from the crowd. I knew that programming was important, and took steps outside of college to improve my basic skill set on that front. I think that is what helped me to get this placement.”

Images
(Top) Aine Matthews from Co. Longford, studying at DCU and who was on placement at the Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering (MPCE) department in Beaumont Hospital

(Bottom) Ciara O’Hara, studying at DIT, working at Met Eireann