George Mihailescu is a third year Physics with Biomedical Science student at DCU. After moving to Ireland, George’s parents settled in Dublin’s inner city where he was born and spent his early years before moving to west Dublin where he still lives today.
“Just six of my secondary school classmates went to university, most of the rest went straight to work. My own determination to succeed and attend university came from my parents who moved to Ireland to give me a better future.
I was a very curious child and this was encouraged by my parents and teachers who saw potential in me. My Junior Certificate science teacher was so enthusiastic and captivating and he really helped to grow my passion for physics. I was fascinated with all the really cool stuff like how the stars and the universe are formed. I did all three science subjects for my Leaving Certificate but physics was always my favourite. If you want to really understand biology and chemistry then you need to understand physics.
Picking my course in Physics with Biomedical Science was an easy choice but figuring out how to pay for it was less straightforward. I knew that my parents would make every sacrifice to get me into college but I also knew that it would be a huge strain for them.
When the DCU Access Programme visited our school, and talked about college life and the supports available through Access, I decided to apply. I felt that DCU really cares about its students and that I would be part of a family. I have since had direct experience of the emotional support that Access offers following a difficult time due to a family illness in my first year here.
If there was no Access Programme, I would still have gone to college but I know that our financial situation would have been very bad. I would have needed to work a lot and wouldn’t have been able to do as well academically and to meet so many friends.
Thanks to Access, I have been able to purchase a laptop and expensive text books and to fully embrace college life. I absolutely love my course, from doing modules that give me a solid base in the fundamental principles of physics to the hands-on labs where I actually get to do the experiments I read about in secondary school, like the Millikan Oil Drop to measure the charge of a single electron.
The support of the Access Programme has also given me the freedom to get involved in college clubs and societies. Together with a friend, I founded DCU’s Space and Robotics Society. The society is a platform for physics students to meet up, but it is also for students who are interested in space, robotics and physics but not studying it. We actually get a lot of students from other courses like Business and Law coming to our events that have included lectures on astrophysics, star gazing and workshops to teach people how to code and make robots.
Last summer, I was also lucky to be able to do an internship with DCU’s Fraunhofer Project Centre which was a great experience. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do in the future yet. I am really interested in nanotechnology in medicine and how it has enabled surgery to become less invasive and cheaper whilst also delivering better outcomes for patients. I also have an interest in the area of Artificial Intelligence. In my final year, I will get to do more specialised modules on topics like Medical Imaging and Computational Physics so I’m hoping this will help me to figure out my next steps.”