Hamilton Prize winner DCU 2023, TJ Griffin
Pictured left to right are Danny McCoy, CEO, Ibec, TJ Griffin and Professor Wendelin Werner, University of Cambridge

Maths prize winner filled out workbooks in the summer “just to pass the time” 

TJ Griffin, 4th year DCU actuarial student has won the prestigious Hamilton Prize in mathematics, which is awarded by the Royal Irish Academy. 

The prize is awarded for achieving the best average grade across all modules in third year out of the entire DCU course. 

TJ’s love of mathematics began early.

“I remember during my summer holidays in primary school I would fill out maths workbooks just to pass the time,” said TJ. 

In secondary school he had the same maths teacher from second year through to sixth year, which he said helped him a lot to succeed. 

TJ also had encouraging teachers, particularly Ms Mulcahy, who told him about her son who was working as an actuary. “This really opened the door to the career for me,” said TJ. 

He is from Tralee, where he attended CBS ‘The Green’ Secondary School. His father ran a scaffolding company and his mother is a cleaner. “Both are very good with figures, which I think is something that rubbed off on me,” said TJ. 

Maths was always one of his favourite subjects.

“I have always enjoyed solving problem and I get great satisfaction when I get things right.”


TJ chose to study at DCU because of its work placement opportunities.

“I have always wanted to experience living in Dublin and wanted to pursue a course which would allow me to get practical industry exposure, so DCU was an obvious choice.” 

HIs first year at DCU was during the pandemic, but after that he has been on campus ever since, and has made some good friends in his course. 

“This has definitely helped when you consider how complex some of the material we cover is, as it is always useful to have someone to bounce ideas off.” 

“The lecturers have gone above and beyond, some of the most approachable people ready to help in any way they can.” 


I recently completed his 8-month Intra at Canada Life Reinsurance here in Dublin, which was great and offered some insight into how he would like to approach my future. 

“At the moment I am currently interviewing for actuarial graduate programmes to begin in September 2024. I am focusing my attention on the non-life sector, as I would like to gain exposure in this industry before I decide if actuary is the path for me.”

“Between now and then I would like to enjoy my last few days as a college student and take advantage of some of the free time I have. Next summer, myself and my girlfriend are heading off to south east Asia for two months.”