Hugh J. Byrne
Synge Street, Trinity College Dublin
Trinity, Germany, Japan, DIT
Head, FOCAS Research Institute, DIT
Favourite thing to do in science: Education
About Me: Open minded, curious and fun loving
I am not sure what to say about myself – I am trained as a physicist, but am generally interested in life and society, and particularly in building infrastructure for research and education in Ireland. I love the way that Ireland is becoming increasingly multicultural, and that people from all over the world are coming to Ireland to study and work.
My Work: Irish Scientist, originally trained in physics, now working a lot in areas of nanoparticle cell interactions, and biomedical applications of spectroscopy
I did a degree in physics, followed by a PhD in Trinity College Dublin, mostly working on understanding the interaction of light with materials, and what determines their optical properties. I spent over four years working in Germany, followed by a short spell in Japan, before returning to Dublin, to work in DIT.
In DIT, I have spent a lot of effort developing the infrastructure for research, and was involved in establishing the FOCAS (Facility for Optical Characterisation and Spectroscopy) Research Institute, which I now Head. It is essentially a “one stop shop” for spectroscopy and microscopy, and provides support for research in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, food science. The interdisciplinary environment enabled me to expand my research into exploring the interactions of nanomaterials with cells, and the sue of spectroscopy for analysis of cells and tissues, with potential biomedical applications.
My Typical Day: Varied, hectic, long
I do not lecture, and so I do not have a typical day. My work varies from more management and administrative issues, to mundane thing such as dealing with the leak in the basement, to contributing to research management in the DIT, to discussing research with PhD students and colleagues and collaborators.
What I'd do with the money: Spend, spend spend
To be honest, I have not considered, and was not aware of it until this question appeared.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Hard working, honest, sincere
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
What did you want to be after you left school?
A school teacher
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Just a little bit
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
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 remembered as an honest and sincere person
Tell us a joke.
What's the difference between a Duck? One of his legs is both the same length!