UCC Physics Graduate Profiles

Ian O'Driscoll, Associate Director, R&D, Alcon Ireland

10 Mar 2022

[My best memory in UCC] "Small group of 20 or physics students who were all quite like-minded people and all got on really well"

Current job title:

Associate Director, R&D, Alcon Ireland


What appeals to you most about your current role?

Working with great people and with a company that has a fantastic culture, all while working on products that allow people to see after cataract surgery


Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation:

Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Advanced Electromagnetism, Advanced Condensed Matter Physics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Lasers and Photonics, Physics and Semiconductor physics, Research Project. 2004


What influenced or helped you decide to study this degree?

Met with Prof. Tony Deeney while I was in 6th year in secondary school and he had a big influence on my decision.


Most relevant main or subsidiary topic studied:

Optics and Photonics and Semiconductor physics


Best memory of UCC:

Small group of 20 or physics students who were all quite like-minded people and all got on really well.


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

The ability to self learn and the importance of evidence based decision making.


Brief overview of work history (to highlight the path to where you are now):

Degree in Hons Physics, PhD in Semiconductor Physics in the Tyndall National Institute (3 years)

Postdoctoral Researcher in Photonics with Cardiff University (4 years)

SFI SIRG Fellow in Photonics at Tyndall National Institute (4 years)

R&D Engineer at Alcon (2 years)

R&D Manager at Alcon

Associate Director of R&D at Alcon


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

Industry is going heavily towards automation. Address this gap. There are huge opportunities outside of academia.


Any other comments you wish to share:

Students should actively email academic professors and people in industry in order to reach out and make contact. It still amazes me how little few people do this and how effective it can be.



School of Physics

Scoil na Fisice

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