Our Chief Executive presents Rosse Medal at Ireland Spring Meeting

1 June 2018

PhD student Eileen Courtney won the competition for postgraduate physics communication and was awarded the Rosse Medal at the annual IOP Ireland Spring Meeting held in Limerick on 12 May.

Our Chief Executive presents Rosse Medal at Ireland Spring Meeting
Peter van der Burgt

As the medal winner, she was invited to take part, along with runner-up Alex Lonergan from University College Cork, in the finals of IOP’s Three Minute Wonder (3MW) competition at the Royal Institution in London on 22 May. There she was runner-up in the overall competition and also received a prize for attracting the highest audience vote.

The competition for the Rosse Medal attracted 33 entries, with five finalists chosen to present their work at the meeting. As well as Eileen and Alex, they included Julianne Kealy and Aisling Murphy, both from Maynooth University, and Niamh Fitzgerald from NUI Galway. Our Chief Executive, Professor Paul Hardaker, presented Eileen with the Rosse Medal at the event at the Limerick Strand Hotel, which had been postponed from March due to Storm Emma.

More than 80 people took part in the day of talks, exhibitions and social activities on the theme of Sensing the Universe.

Dr Caitriona Jackman of the University of Portsmouth –a graduate of the University of Limerick – gave a talk on findings from the missions of Galileo to Jupiter and Cassini to Saturn, while Professor Andy Shearer of NUI Galway spoke about opportunities for astronomy and business in Ireland, given the recent government decision to join the European Southern Observatory.

Dr Yvonne Kavanagh presented recent research on the success of women in physics in Ireland and the formal presentations finished with Dr Jessamyn Fairfield speaking about what physics can learn from comedy.

During the event, Dr Nicolas Bonne from the University of Portsmouth exhibited work from the Tactile Universe, a project to engage the blind and visually impaired community with physics research using 3-D printed tactile images of galaxies.

Exhibitors also included Blackrock Castle Observatory, with information on its outreach astronomy programme in association with the European Space Education and Resource Office.

An additional competition was included in the Spring Meeting – best physics image, which was won by Sarah Guerin of the University of Limerick with her image, Glycine Spider Web.



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