Associate Member: Mark Cunningham


It’s important to me I identify with my creative side. Physicists have a stereotype, I try to break that. I’m Mark Cunningham and I’m an undergraduate physicist. I’m currently studying here at Queen’s University Belfast. When I was growing up I was always interested in space and the stars and I always had a keen interest in maths, so the two combined led me to physics. I first joined the IOP when Liz Conlon came in from the IOP to give a talk to the first years. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my future career so I thought joining the IOP would allow me to network with fellow physicists and also there was a free pen involved if you joined. The IOP organises lots of events, and I’ve met loads of international physicists and fellow students that I can use as contacts in the future. I joined the Physics Student Society at Queen’s in my second year but I wanted to play a more active role so I became president in my third year. One of the first things I wanted to do as president was to affiliate the society with the IOP. We received a £100 grant which we put towards a CV session with free pizza. Our society is called PAMSoc, which stands for the Physics and Maths Society. But we also have a football team which we call PAMSoccer which is a really great way to bring maths and physics students together from different backgrounds and different age groups. I contacted Sheila Gilheany of IOP Ireland and they agreed to give us sponsorship for the football kit. Last year we actually won the league. I don’t think anyone was expecting the maths and physics students to win the league. Whenever I get the opportunity I still pursue art in my spare time. I have a small studio at home where I’m allowed to be creative. I mainly do portraits for commission, but now I’m moving into more abstract artwork. I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the IOP outreach. Through going out to primary schools to get the next generation of physicists involved. I’m not sure what my next steps will be. I just know that I want to continue to take as many opportunities as possible and to impact as many lives as I can.

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