I live with my family in Dublin. I enjoy "finding out" fascinating facts of life and science. I love nature walks, meeting with friends and reading. My passion is telling others about wonders of our world.
I would call myself a naturally curious person and have very broad interests ranging from mathematical/physics sciences through biology to art and architecture. I am a keen photographer but recently have a bit less time for taking pictures. I especially like taking pictures of details of plants and other quirky things. I love to read, especially books about the history and history of science and biographies of famous scientists and activists. My scientific hero is Richard Feynman – Nobel prize laureate in physics.
I like paper engineering and origami – Japanese art form of folding a paper. I like work of Robert Lang who is ex-Nasa engineer turn origami master. Origami has many applications in science and engineering. I like very much pop-up books to read and play with as well as design (mine are not very sophisticated yet but I am learning).
I studied to be a radio-officer – the person whose responsibility is to maintain communication between ship and the rest of the world and to maintain all sophisticated electronic equipment aboard such as radar. As a part of my training I spent some time onboard Polish training vessel that belonged to my university back in Poland. As a part of a crew I took a part in Tall Ships races 2000
I work on a variety of things that relate to radio frequency (RF) research and engineering. I worked on the systems that used Bluetooth radio (such as your smartphone or tablet might have) to monitor behavior and well-being of farm animals and I also worked on the communication system that was meant to be deployed on the surface of the Moon. What I enjoy the most is coming up with some fundamental idea and using it to build something useful. This was exactly what I researched for my PhD – I took ideas from music and acoustics and applied them to RF engineering.It is quite often that certain topics are widely known in one branch of science but completely new to another.
One day, I might work with devices that are much smaller than a grain of sand but the other I might take part in testing and designing a few meters long antennas for mobile network towers that you might have seen all over the country. RF engineering is sometimes termed as “the blackest of all black arts”. It is a bit of a joke but it is true that RF engineering degree require quite substantial amount of higher level maths and physics. To become a good RF engineer you need to have a lots of practice to have “feel” for how things work as it is very difficult to calculate everything even with the most powerful computers.
RF engineering and research is relatively expensive as I need quite a highly specialized and rather expensive equipment such as the one below:
I was lucky that most of the place I worked at took pride in outreach programs, which means that allowed us to engage with a public to share our passion for research and science. I was lucky to participate for many years in BT Young Scientist competition. I was a person to talk to young people and families about demonstrations that we had at Bell Labs stand. I also designed some of those demos.
Additional benefit of working in science is that you get to travel a bit to scientific conferences. I managed to visit Japan, Singapore, USA, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France and Mauritius.
My Typical Day
I usually wake up around 7am. I eat my breakfast with good coffee. I wake up my sons (9 and 16), not always the easiest task. Depending on the day I start at 9 or 10. I read and think about the future projects, I might be in the lab or at the computer using a specialised software. Around 1pm lunch, sometimes with colleagues and friends, quick walk after that. More work till it is time for home at 5:30-6pm.
What I'd do with the prize money
I think I would donate money to CoderDojo so they can continue to inspire young people.
CoderDojo is great Irish charity (12,000 volunteers) that made quite a splash worldwide (117 countries). Basically, they help young people to learn coding and building a computing hardware. I would like them to use money to support those who cannot afford some bits and pieces required to attend a CoderDojo.
Vocational technical secondary school in Poland, Gdynia Maritime University - Poland, Cork Institute of Technology - Ireland
I have a PhD in Electronics engineering from Cork Institute of Technology.
Nimbus research centre at Cork IT, Nokia Bell Labs - premier industrial research laboratory, Alpha Wireless - Irish company designing and manufacturing mobile base stations antennas in Co. Laois
Looking for a new adventure!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
curious mind engineer
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be an electronic engineer and work at sea as a radio officer.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I almost did not make it to that Tall Ships race as my roommates at the university organized the party that went a bit "out of the hand" and the whole dormitory was almost punished for it by not attending the Tall ships race.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
I am all round eater but love good coffee and a cake.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I was a crew member of a huge sailing ship (more than 150 people onboard) during the "Tall Ships 2000" races and we won! It was tough but fun.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
good health, love for all I know and bit of money wouldn't hurt
Tell us a joke.
The Optimist, the Pessimist, and the Engineer. The optimist says: “The glass is half full.” The pessimist says: “The glass is half empty.” The engineer says: “The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”