Primary - St. Mary's National School, Ballygunner; Secondary - Waterpak College; University - University College Cork
Bachelor of Energy Engineering
Boston Scientific Clonmel / Galway; The Solaire New York; UCC Student Centre; UCC School of Medicine; Airtricity
About Me: I'm a energy engineer, who has always had a love for nature and interest in how our lives impact the world we live in. I am lucky enough to have turned my passion into my job, working as a climate change researcher. In my free time, I enjoy rugby, squash, guitar, reading and playing board or computer games.
My Work: I study how changes to our energy system will reduce the amount of CO2 emissions, and in particular help communities to understand what they can do in response to climate change. For information about the projects I'm involved with check out - https://www.marei.ie/people/connor-mcgookin/
My Typical Day: I usually try to get into the office for around 9 a.m but often I'm a little later. One of the nice things about being a PhD student is that I have the freedom to work when I want, I'm my own boss. My typical day would then be spent at my desk working on my computer; either reading about a topic, writing a paper or building energy system models. However, not all my days are so boring. To make sure the energy system models I build reflect what people think about new technologies, I also get to spend a of time away from my desk. We run community meetings or workshops in order to understand what people think about new technologies like electric vehicles or solar panels.
What I'd do with the money: I'd like to run a schools initiative (climate hack) with the money, asking students to develop creative responses to climate change.
During Science Week, November 2019, we ran a ‘climate hack’ in the three secondary schools on the Dingle Peninsula. The students were given some information sheets with details on the current energy system and opportunities for reducing CO2 emissions in electricity, heating and transport. They were then asked to develop their own solutions and prepare a small poster presentation of their idea. If I win the prize money, I will use it to do a similar exercise with schools in East Cork.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
optimistic, easy going and meticulous
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My Dad is a chemical engineer, I think that's why I'm gifted with an ability for solving math problems
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
When I was young - a farmer, then later - a doctor or lawyer and for a short while - a psychologist
Were you ever in trouble at school?
not too often
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I'd probably try working for the UN, travel the world doing development work
Who is your favourite singer or band?
depends on my mood, at the moment I'm listening to a lot of local artists from my hometown Waterford; Robin Healy, Crome Yellow and Toucan
What's your favourite food?