21 March 2017 - IOP Ireland’s annual Spring Meeting took physics and life as its theme and had over 100 attending in the Gibson Hotel in Dublin. The event combined academic talks on biophysics, the use of physics in everyday life, unconscious bias in the science community and true-life tales.

A highlight of the day was the Rosse Medal competition. Fifty-six physics postgraduate students from higher education institutions right across Ireland competed for the medal which commemorates the 3rd Earl of Rosse (Sir William Parsons KP, FRS) and is awarded for the best communication of research by a postgraduate student. After two rounds consisting of posters and oral presentations, the winner was selected. The Rosse medal is one of the most prestigious awards for physics postgraduates in Ireland. Mr. Cian McKeown, from the University of Limerick, who is pursuing a PhD degree supervised by Dr. Fernando Rhen, won the award with his presentation entitled “How strain Enhances Fuel Cell Catalysts”. The research supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) shows how strain in Pt films controls adsorption of methanol molecules leading to better fuel cell electrodes.