Alex Ireland

Favourite Thing: I like finding out things about how the body works that can help people – make athletes faster, help people live longer and allow ill people to be happier and healthier.



Brooklands Primary School – 1988-1995, Altrincham Grammar School – 1995-2002


Durham University – 2002-2005 (BSc Sport, Health and Exercise Science), Manchester Metropolitan University – 2007-Now (MSc Sport and Exercise Physiology, PhD Exercise Physiology)

Work History:

JAM Recruitment – 2005-2009 (to help me pay off my student debts and pay for my Masters degree), Manchester Metropolitan University – 2009-Now


Manchester Metropolitan University

Current Job:

Technical Officer – I do experiments to find out how our body changes if we exercise, and help students and other scientists with their experiments.

Me and my work

Measuring how big and strong pole-vaulting pensioners, brilliant young tennis players and couch potatoes are, to find out how exercise helps keep us healthy.

My Typical Day

Taking pictures of muscles and bones, measuring how strong or fast people are, writing my results, thinking up ideas with other scientists in different countries, helping students and other scientists plan their experiments. Then after work, doing some exercise to keep me healthy!

What I'd do with the money

Make videos to share on Youtube and distribute to schools and pupils showing how our bodies change if we exercise, as we grow up and get older and what happens to our bodies if we go into space. We’ll support the videos with a Twitter account, where pupils (and teachers!) can ask questions about the topics in the videos, or anything else about science and being a scientist.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Enthusiastic, friendly, inquisitive.

Would you rather be a scientist or an athlete? And why?

I’d like to be both!

If you could have a body super power, what would it be and why?

Super-fast legs, to let me beat Usain Bolt.

Which Olympic event would you most like to win? And why?

100m, with my new super-fast legs!

What did you want to be after you left school?

A professional footballer, but I wasn’t quick enough – I needed super-fast legs!

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Sometimes, but nothing bad – only for chatting or forgetting my homework…

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Showing my work to other scientists around the world.

Tell us a joke.

Why was Cinderella dropped from the football team? She ran away from the ball…