PhD graduate Nireeksha tells of her love story with Waterford and WIT

Engineering

"I love Waterford and I actually really miss Waterford."

Following her studies at University of Glasgow, Nireeksha Stanley Karode came to WIT to study a masters and left with a PhD in hand - and marriage

Are you originally from Waterford?
No I’m not originally from Ireland. I come from a very complex background. I’m half Nepalese and half Indian but I consider myself Nepalese now. Previous to WIT I completed my education in the University of Glasgow. I stayed on there and worked in research but I was really looking for a PhD. I wasn’t able to secure funding over there. I just happened to e-mail Austin Coffey [an engineering lecturer and Principal Investigator with the Convergent Technologies Research Group (CTRG) in WIT] for some reason. We had a chat and he told me that there was a position open if I would like to do an interview. I happily took the interview and he offered me a masters. Even though it was a masters and not a PhD I said okay. So when I came over to Waterford originally it was to complete a masters and not a PhD.

Did you complete the masters before going onto the PHD?
No I didn’t have to. After I finished my first year Austin looked at my progress. He was happy with it and asked me if I wanted to stay on and do a PhD. I was delighted and told him that was what I was looking for. He wanted to test me initially to see if I was capable of it. I was okay with that and after second year I transferred to the PhD. I won some funding as well. I won the IRC scholarship for coming to Ireland. I was really lucky. It allowed me to go through the next two years and now I’m standing here with a PhD.

What were the stand out points for you in WIT?
So coming from a university and even working with Coventry for almost two years I found that universities are really focused straight ahead and there is little room for change. When I was here I was able to look at different angles in my PhD and I was able to venture out. My PhD is now completely different to other PhDs that I have seen because I didn’t just work on one field I was able to work on many fields. It was more industry orientated because I work the industry as well. Half my PhD was done with a business in Drogheda SEF Processing Limited. It made it more practical so it wasn’t boring. It was an unusual PhD but it was very nice and I could do thermal chemistry and I had a bit if polymer science and I also had a bit of mechanics. Now I know most of the fields so it was great for me. I think this is what brings the flare to WIT’s PhDs. They don’t stick to a criteria so it was more open. That’s the best part. I got to learn a lot.

What have you been doing since you finished the PhD?
I moved from Waterford after I finished to Athlone for work. I work for a company called Teleflexs. I love Waterford and I actually really miss Waterford. I really really miss Waterford I don’t know what it is but I just really miss it. I met my husband here. I married him here. I met him in the college during first year and we were married in the second year. Even this morning I was going to the Travel Lodge and I was looking at the place that he proposed to me on the street. It made it personal for me. I went shopping this morning and I was like oh my god I miss all these things. I lived in Galway for a year and it was just never the same.

It was more than just a degree for you so?
Yes it was much more. It became so much more personal to me. I also have my best friend here too. So we come down and it’s great. It’s really lovely to be able to get into the sea. It’s more than WIT it’s the surroundings of it that make it great.


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