UCC Physics Graduate Profiles

Dr Anthony Kiely, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University College Dublin

10 Mar 2022

"One of my favourite memories was an organised trip to CERN. It was great fun and helped everyone get to know each other better. It led to a small tight knit class with great camaraderie throughout the rest of the course"

Current job title:

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University College Dublin

What appeals to you most about your current role?

I enjoy the mix of activities over the course of the day; meeting students, writing code or discussing some new results over a whiteboard. There’s also a pleasant aspect of chatting with likeminded people in both the other staff and visiting researchers.

Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation:

I graduated from UCC with an undergraduate degree in Physics and Mathematics in 2013 and a PhD in Physics in 2017.

What influenced or helped you decide to study this degree?

At school I really enjoyed studying maths, applied maths and physics the most out of all my other subjects, in part due to some wonderful teachers. On account of that, it just seemed like a very natural choice.

Most relevant main or subsidiary topic studied:

I’m not sure how much I’ve needed it, but my favourite module was definitely Abstract Algebra in my first year. The lecturer, Prof. Des MacHale, was really engaging and always told us lots of interesting mathematical anecdotes.

Best memory of UCC:

One of my favourite memories was an organised trip to CERN. It was great fun and helped everyone get to know each other better. It led to a small tight knit class with great camaraderie throughout the rest of the course.

What role do you feel UCC played in getting you to where you are today?

I think the teaching at UCC gave me a very solid grounding in fundamental physics and pure mathematics. The academic staff being very friendly and approachable was definitely a critical part of this.

The physics department also offered lots of opportunities for research projects over the summer.These projects helped give me an insight into what active research really entailed and were great practice for learning to work independently.

Brief overview of work history:

After completing my PhD in 2017, I moved to Bilbao in Spain. I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Basque Country there. After spending some time there, I took up a post as a lecturer at UCC. Presently, I am a postdoctoral research fellow at University College Dublin.

What advice would you give to current students that are about to graduate/enter the job market?

Be aware of both your unique skills and also your weaknesses when compared with other candidates. With this in mind, try to work on any potential “holes” in your CV to become more well rounded e.g. more experience programming or public speaking etc.


Department of Physics

Roinn na Fisice

Room 213 (Physics Office), 2nd floor, Kane Science Building, University College Cork, Ireland.,