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Our Team

Director of the Science Learning Centre

Claire O' Brien

MRes, PgDip, BSc(Hons), FHEA

Claire has been the Director of the Science Learning Centre (SLC) since May 2022. Her duties include the management of the SLC staff and directing various activities at the Centre. 

Claire's research background is in the Biological Sciences. To see her research profile, follow her on ResearchGate. Claire's professional background includes four years of lecturing at various HE institutions across the UK, as well as three year's experience as a learning technologist due to her interest in the growing use of technology in the education sector. To see her professional profile, follow her on LinkedIn.



Current SLC Tutors

Our SLC tutors are typically UL postgraduate students who are researching and teaching in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Engineering. They often have previously studied on the modules that we support as undergraduates themselves. They may work in the Drop-in or as support tutorials tutors or both. They are the SLC's most valuable resource.

You can either drop-in to the centre at our scheduled times or book a session with one of our experienced tutors via our SULIS Site.

Please note: Students cannot request to meet a tutor outside the SLC. Any such queries should be sent to  


Pavan Rao

Ciara Leahy

Harsh Barua

Kelly Murphy

Subject Specialism: Engineering

Available for: Drop-in Centre, Online 1-1 Appointments

About Pavan: "I am a 3rd year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering working on metals used in offshore pipelines and powerplants. I have also previously worked on composite materials from a mechanical/material characterisation perspective."

Subject Specialism: Chemistry, Biology

Available for: Online 1-1 Appointments

About Ciara: "I am a 3rd year PhD student studying the role of the Epstein-Barr virus in various cancers. I previously studied Industrial Biochemistry at UL and hence have experience in areas relating to biology, chemistry and science maths."

Subject Specialism: Chemistry

Available for: Drop-in Centre, Online 1-1 Appointments, Support Tutorials

About Harsh: "I am a second-year PhD student in the Department of Chemical Sciences. I am a pharmacist with a master's degree in pharmaceutics. My current research focuses on the crystallisation pathway for pharmaceutical molecules."

Subject Specialism: Chemistry

Available for: Drop-in Centre

About Kelly: "I am a 2nd year PhD researcher in the field of electrochemistry and material science in the Bernal Institute, here in UL. My area of research is focused on synthesising and optimising materials for their use as an anode in sodium-ion and lithium-ion batteries."

Hasan Khalid

Niraj Patil





Subject Specialism: Engineering, Physics

Available for: Drop-in Centre, Online 1-1 Appointments, Support Tutorials

About Pavan: "I am pursuing my PhD in numerical modelling of laminated composite structures from School of Engineering. With a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and specialisation in Machine Design, I have a good knowledge and fair experience in providing assistance with subjects like mechanics, dynamics, engineering maths, solid mechanics, vibration and other related modules."

Subject Specialism: Chemistry

Available for: Drop-in Centre, Online 1-1 Appointments

About Niraj: "I am a second-year PhD student. I have completed my Masters's degree in chemical sciences with specialization in material chemistry. Currently, I am working on the colloidal synthesis of nanocrystals and their application in energy storage."



Becoming an SLC Tutor

Currently the SLC employs postgraduate students to tutor peers and undergraduates specifically in the fields of Physics, Engineering, Biology and Chemistry. Click here to see an overview of the role of an SLC Tutor.

Postgraduate students who can demonstrate a high degree of academic competence in their particular discipline are invited to email the SLC at with:

1. a CV

2. a brief cover letter

3. at least one academic reference 

We will be in touch in due course regarding your application.