News and Views

UCC scientist honoured by peers

3 Sep 2018
Prof Margaret Murnane, Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado and Prof Stephen Fahy Physics UCC. Image: John Sheehan

Scientists from around the world came to Cork to mark the vast contribution to science, research and education of UCC physicist Stephen Fahy.

Some of the world’s most prominent physicists were in Cork to surprise Prof Fahy who recently turned 60 years of age.

Stephen Fahy was joined by leading academics from Berkeley, Stanford, Michigan, Bristol, and Colorado Universities as well as Queens, Belfast, and Imperial College in London and Bell Labs for the celebration.

The two-day conference was held in honour of his contribution to education, science and scientific research and was hosted at the Tyndall National Institute.

Describing Professor Fahy as “a wonderful educator, a researcher of the highest calibre, and a great friend,” UCC President Patrick O’Shea added: “Stephen is curious and self-effacing, creative and erudite, a gentleman and a scholar, and a great explainer of all things complex.”

A gifted physicist Professor Fahy joined the UCC Physics Department in 1993 following positions at the University of Michigan and Bell Labs. He completed his PhD in 1987 in the Physics Department at University of California, Berkeley and went on to make numerous contributions to condensed matter physics. He has a stellar career in research having been awarded four consecutive SFI Principal Investigator awards amongst others.

“Stephen is a great communicator and collaborator and has worked very successfully with many experimental groups. His research has had a broad impact on materials science, spanning from explaining electrical transport in inhomogeneous materials, to understanding the behaviour of materials under high pressures, to uncovering how the electrons and lattice interact in advanced quantum materials.” Professor Margaret Murnane Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado

Passionate about education Stephen has formed friendships wherever he has worked, and this weekend’s two-day-conference was an opportunity for those relationships to be celebrated.

“Stephen is a great friend and colleague.  He is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.  On the professional side he is an experimentalist’s kind of theorist: he is a sucker for new and unexplained data and is uncompromising in finding the simplest possible explanations to complex physical phenomena,” said Professor David Reis of Stanford University.

Photo shows Professor Patrick O'Shea, UCC President, Professor Margaret Murnane, Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado, Professor John McInerney, UCC Department of Physics and Professor Stephen Fahy, UCC Department of Physics. Image: John Sheehan


For more about courses and research in the Department of Physics at UCC visit here

For more about UCC's Tyndall National Institute visit here

For more on this story contact:

Ruth Mc Donnell, Head of Media and PR, Office of Marketing and Communications, UCC Mob: 086-0468950

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