Meet Ironnica: Eclectic, Intelligent and Irish

Friend with Ironnica on Graduation Day

Friend with Ironnica on Graduation Day

Ironnica is one of our top Supervisors in the areas of Chemistry and Math. He has a special talent for chemistry in particular and is currently doing a PhD in the subject, and he is just 25 years old! To pay his way through school, he bartends and he also works with undergraduate students at University. On our site, he is an AnswerThon winner in Second Place, and a member of the Mentoring Program and Vandal Patrol. He is also a Category Supervisor in Math and Arithmetic and Chemistry and related areas. At over 26, 000 contributions, he is already a Gold Contributor. It is an honor to have Ironnica helping out on our site! Read more and get to know this young Irishman.

What is your first name?

My first name is Liam.

What is your occupation?

I am a PhD student in Dublin City University. My area of study is solar fuels generation in the Department of Chemistry.

What enticed you to join our community?

I asked a question about a guitar that I wanted to buy, the Jackson WRMG. It has a very unusual shape and I wanted to know if it would fit into a normal sized soft guitar bag. Somebody actually checked their guitar and let me know that it did. From there, I answered a few questions while in  my first year of college and later I was asked to join the Premier Answerers Facebook page. That was a very nice touch. Following that, the community of people on the site made it somewhere that I wanted to stay. There are a lot of lovely people here.

What is your favorite thing to do on Answers.com?

I like answering questions. I’ve recently been working through a few key words, mainly on unit conversions, as a means to clean the backlog up. I could try to guess alternative wording for answers in the hope of slotting an answer in, but for the majority of these questions, they require a one sentence answer, and it is far more efficient to just answer them. When I started,  I used to look up the answers to questions I had a vague idea about, and I learned a lot of random things myself through that method. I used reliable sources so I do not fear that the info was incorrect!

What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

The move from an institute of technology (IT Carlow) to university was daring. I didn’t come from a house with vast amounts of money, but I knew from my time in Carlow that chemistry was my calling and that I would have been at a disadvantage if I didn’t take the plunge.

What is your favorite type of music? What is your favorite band or artist?

Andy McKee

Andy McKee

I used to be into heavy metal and some power metal, hard rock, punk and a random mix aside from that. I have gone now drifted towards pop punk and listen to Less than Jake, The Offspring, Blink 182, Bad Religion, Lars Frederiksen, Bouncing Souls, Fight Like Apes and Dead Cat Bounce. Two legends of music that I’ll always hold very dear are Andy McKee (double hand tapping acoustic) and Ludovico Einaudi (Italian composer and pianist). I’ve been very lucky to see both and they gave incredible shows.

What makes you unique?

I am a very honest person, and if I’m not being honest, I have good reason not to be. I am not religious, but I do live by a loose idea of karma. I have been very lucky in life to get where I am, which encourages me to continue this way and to keep in mind who may be affected by my actions or lack of them.

What are you most passionate about in your life?

I am most passionate about chemistry, and as of late, inspiring younger minds by explaining things in ways that I wish had been told to me. I have always been passionate about my three nephews and my niece and I hope to be there for them whenever they need me in the future.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?

I don’t need to look far in my life for inspiration thankfully. My girlfriend, Andrea is a rock, and a very intelligent, capable and highly motivated individual, and to put up with me is something to be admired on its own.

My dad and sister have always offered me help. My dad has provided me with any tools that I have needed in life, and has done his level best for me. I have quite a few aunts and uncles who are there to give support whenever needed, in particular, my uncle Eamonn who is a Catholic priest. He (and others) has looked out for me and we get on remarkably well, considering I am an atheist. He respects that, and it goes unmentioned.

Do you view the glass ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Why?

I am a half empty type of person, a bad habit. Doing research is an absolute roller-coaster that has you picking yourself up a few times a week. That’s where the forced optimism comes in, and the “ah sure, it’ll be grand” line.

What life accomplishments are you proud of?

I won the 2009 Eurachem Analytical Measurement Competition in Ireland. I was selected as one of five IT students to represent Ireland at the 2008 London International Youth Science Forum. I got a side qualification in quality assurance while attending Carlow IT. I finished top of class in my undergraduate degree. Also, I never dreamed that I could have the opportunity to do a PhD, and for getting here (a long road to go yet) I am proud no matter what lies ahead in the future.

Anything else?

Not so much a question, but I have to thank the Answers team for the opportunity to enter the recent AnswersThon and for being the lovely people that they are. They have provided a platform of free education.  I am also thankful to Sal Khan of Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and the infinite amount of freely available educational resources on the Internet. We really live in a knowledge-rich environment with all these media available at our fingertips. With proper dedication, anyone can succeed, with the right tools already in place.

Check out some of Ironnica’s questions on Answers.com:

How do you find the answer to A girl counted 28 geese and horses on the farm all together and if there were 78 legs how many were geese?

What two factors most influence the chance a collision will occur between atoms of chemical reactions?

What are 5 ways to know that a chemical reaction has taken place?

How much water will a 25 millimeter by 100 millimeter pipe hold?

 

 

16 thoughts on “Meet Ironnica: Eclectic, Intelligent and Irish

  1. I’m not a scientist. chemistry was a total mystery to me in school 50 years ago. In the meantime, thanks to any number of excellent popular science books, I’ve become scientifically “literate” – if you see what I mean. I’m particularly clued up on climate change and I’m preparing a presentation for a local environmental association here in the Vendée. While summarizing the main conclusions of AR5 I realised I didn’t understand pH… so I asked you and now I do! Thank you so much.

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  4. Definitely a young man with a promising future and a gifted common sense.
    A great value for science with a collaborative and educational sense is worth admiring.
    Best regards.

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