International impact: how Institute membership will take you far
Like most young people, I joined the then Institute of Materials because I thought it would be good to be a member of a professional organisation, and that it might be of benefit to my career. Little did I know when I joined just over 10 years ago of the doors that would open to me and the opportunities that would arise as a result of membership.
I was selected by judges in our local society final to represent Northern Ireland at the Young Persons' Lecture Competition final in London in 2002. That was an excellent experience, and the next day I was invited to become part of the Younger Members' Committee. It was wonderful to meet and work with a group of like-minded professionals from across the UK and Ireland on the Committee and we organised some great conferences and events.
In 2008, I was invited to travel to Florida, USA, with the Institute to judge the World Lecture Competition. I was extremely impressed by the scale and quality of materials research in that region.
Then, in 2009, I travelled to Port Elizabeth in South Africa for the Young Persons' Leture Competition. I was extremely impressed by the scale and quality of materials research inthat region. Then, in 2009, I travelled to Port Elizabeth in South Africa for the Young Persons' World Lecture Competition final. The South Africa trip included tours of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, where I talked with researchers striving for excellence in challenging conditions. It made me realise how good UK research centres are. I met with some inspirational people working in the materials sector to create wealth and growth in that beautiful country, I learned of the unique benefits the Institute can bring in helping to achieve this, without which progress would not be made.
More recently, my research took me Stateside to Silicon Valley in California and I have just returned from a trip to Boston, where we signed a high-level research collaboration in the presence of the Northern Ireland Health Minister and the Massachusetts Senate President.