Queens University Belfast 1984-88
A Physics Honours degree
I worked as an engineer for Bombardier Aerospace helping to develop and build missiles and aircraft for 18 years, then moved to the Planetarium.
Favourite thing to do in science: Looking at the Moon through binoculars.
My Work: I talk about space and other cool stuff.
I’m the Science Communicator for Armagh Planetarium so I get to talk, write and tweet about space and astronomy to folk of all ages.
My Typical Day: Answering queries, teaching people who want to know more about astronomy, writing blog posts
Arrive at the Planetarium, read up on all the latest discoveries while drinking coffee.Answer questions from the public on strange things they’ve seen or found (people think meteorites fall in the their gardens all the time!) Write up blog posts, news paper articles and scripts for shows.Talk to radio and TV journalists.
What I'd do with the money: Use it to upgrade our telescope for public use.
We’re planning to hold regular evenings when the public can use a large telescope to see whatever they want in the night sky.The prize money could buy useful accessories such as camera or phone adaptors, so you could turn up and taking your own photos of the night sky!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Aging Sheldon Cooper
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Kate Bush (giving my age away)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Playing Lego with my daughter.
What did you want to be after you left school?
Aeronautical engineer or astronomer or writer
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Once or twice.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Sharing the wonders of the Universe with so many people.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Go for a stroll on Titan, see a real live pterosaur, get my own personal starship Enterprise.
Tell us a joke.
Two spiral galaxies walk into a pub. The first one goes up to the bar and asks for two drinks, one for him and one for his friend. The barman looks suspiciously at the second spiral galaxy and says “I’m sorry but I can’t serve your friend, he’ll have to go.” The first spiral galaxy complains, “Why can’t you serve him?” The barman replies, “He’s barred.” Bazinga!