Sile Nic Chormaic

Light-Matter Interactions Unit
OIST Graduate University
Okinawa, Japan

Having concentrated on languages and sciences in school I was indecisive about what to study in university. I realised that I could follow both streams by being educated as a scientist with an international perspective. I chose to study in Maynooth as I wanted a small and intimate university, one where my individual needs would be met. Maynooth was the obvious choice as it was close to home, had small class sizes and offered courses that interested me.   I entered in 1986 to study Science and later I specialised in Experimental and Mathematical Physics.   

I wanted a course that offered me high-level theoretical work, while adding to my skills through laboratory training, thereby making me more marketable on graduation. I flourished in the supportive environment of Experimental Physics, through the research placement I was offered in third year in University College London, to the opportunity given to me to study for my PhD in Université Paris-Nord, all with collaborators of staff in the department.

Since then I have worked in universities and research institutes in Austria, Australia, Germany and Ireland, rubbing shoulders with Nobel Prize winners and moving in scientific circles that I could never have envisioned when I first walked through the gates of Maynooth in 1986.  I’m still traveling the globe with my job, having been appointed as Associate Professor at OIST Graduate University (Okinawa, Japan) in 2012.   I maintain extremely fond memories of the support and encouragement I received throughout my career from the staff in Experimental Physics.