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2016 Press Releases

Professor Barry O’Sullivan named top SFI researcher

14 Nov 2016
Professor Barry O'Sullivan, Director of Insight at UCC.

Professor Barry O’Sullivan, Director of Insight at UCC, has been named SFI Researcher of the Year, recognising his significant contribution to the Irish research community in his career. 

He has been honoured for his “exceptional scientific and engineering research outputs” combined with his ability to communicate and, where appropriate, exploit his research.

Seven awards celebrating Science Foundation Ireland researchers’ contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths during 2016 were announced at the annual Science Foundation Ireland Science Summit.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland said “2016 marks the addition of five new awards recognising crucial areas of research and development including: industry collaborations, entrepreneurship, communication, public engagement and outstanding early career researchers. I want to congratulate the award winners on their hard work and accomplishments. I hope their success will be a source of inspiration to others.”

The recipients of SFI Early Career Researcher of the year are Prof Valeria Nicolosi, AMBER, SFI Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin and Dr Martin O’Halloran, National University of Ireland Galway.

The SFI Industry Partnership Award recognised AMBER, Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin and Merck.

APC Ltd - Prof Brian Glennon and Dr Mark Barrett, SFI SSPC Research Centre, University College Dublin received the SFI Entrepreneurship Award.

Dr Sabina Brennan of Trinity College Dublin, received the SFI Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication award, recognising her outstanding contribution to the popularisation of science, while the SFI Best Reported Impact Award went to Dr Emmeline Hill, University College Dublin.

Andrea Zanetti a Chemistry PhD student at University College Dublin captured the SFI Research Image of the Year, titled Organic ‘ChemisTree’, a Telescopic View.

International Partnership Awards

The international partnership between Science Foundation Ireland, the National Science Foundation in the US and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland also recognised three new international collaborations between Research Centres in the Republic of Ireland, the United States and Northern Ireland.

“These three new collaborations demonstrate the value of linking research clusters across the Atlantic, and of partnerships between the scientific and entrepreneurial communities,” said National Science Foundation Director France Córdova. “To augment Science Foundation Ireland’s financial commitments to the new centers, NSF will make new investments in the U.S.-based centers that collaborate with them. These partnerships provide us with the opportunity to address global research challenges.”

Science Foundation Ireland is investing €2.5 million into the three international collaborations over the course of 24-36 months. During the course of the collaborations, the three new awards will employ 8 postdoctoral researchers and 2 PhD students in Ireland, in addition to giving an opportunity to two summer students to work on cutting edge-research. The collaborations aim to foster entrepreneurship and economic development in the participating countries by directly engaging with at least 14 companies during the course of the three awards.

The Science Foundation Ireland funded Research Centre, MaREI, together with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), is collaborating with the NSF Engineering Research Centre, Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems (FREEDM) and the Energy Power & Intelligent Control Research Cluster (EPIC) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).

Each partner will contribute to a specific area of the project. MaREI will lead the energy systems modelling efforts, ESRI provides insight into socio-economic aspects, FREEDM will bring expertise on distributed energy management solutions and systems-level theory, modelling and control, and EPIC-QUB will lead the communication-centred activities.

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