Archive | Appointments

UCC engineer elected Royal Irish Academy president

UCC engineer elected Royal Irish Academy president

Professor Michael Peter Kennedy, a world expert in wireless communications, has been elected as the 56th President of the Royal Irish Academy. Professor of Microelectronic Engineering at UCC, he succeeds historian, Professor Mary E. Daly who was elected as the Academy’s first female President in 2014. He is the first President from UCC.

Professor Kennedy has said he is “Honoured to be elected President and that he sees the all-island Academy playing a key advisory role in Ireland’s response to the challenges and opportunities of Brexit”.

A graduate of UCD and the University of California at Berkeley, Kennedy is one of Ireland’s leading engineers whose research has been funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council.

He received the inaugural Parsons Award in Engineering Sciences in 2001 and was elected as a member of the Academy in 2004. He won UCC’s Invention of the Year Award in 2011 and led the development of the US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards in 2014/15, an initiative of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.

Professor Patrick M. Shannon was also elected today as Secretary. Professor Shannon is the founder of the Marine and Petroleum Geology research group in UCD. His main research is in the areas of basin analysis and marine and petroleum geology, with special reference to the Irish offshore.

Past presidents of the Royal Irish Academy have included TK Whitaker (1985-7) and James Dooge (1987-90). Members include President Michael D. Higgins and past presidents Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson. Historian Roy Foster, political scientist Louise Richardson, economist and former governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Patrick Honohan, and economist and former director of the Economic and Social Research Institute Frances Ruane are also among the members.

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor to open first Enterprise Ireland pavilion at Farnborough Airshow

Minister Mitchell O’Connor to open first Enterprise Ireland pavilion at Farnborough Airshow

Today, the Irish aviation and aerospace sector will be promoted by Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. It will happen at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, England where there will be an Enterprise Ireland Pavillion for the first time

Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency responsible for helping Irish companies to scale and export internationally, will be showcasing six companies from Ireland’s aviation and aerospace sector following successful attendance at last year’s Paris Air Show.

There are over 250 companies active in the aviation and aerospace sector in Ireland, contributing over €4.1 billion to GDP and supporting 42,000 jobs in Ireland.

The Farnborough International Airshow, which takes place every two years, will showcase Ireland as a location for high-quality aviation, aerospace and related services.

The event provides an opportunity for Enterprise Ireland clients to exhibit, attend buyer meetings and actively participate in the many industry networking events around the Airshow.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “Farnborough will give Enterprise Ireland client companies a chance to showcase their capabilities to buyers from all over the world.

“There was approximately €185 billion-worth of business transacted at the last Farnborough event two years ago. I very much hope this week’s exhibitors can tap further into this market, deepening relationships with the likes of Airbus, Bombardier, Boeing, Rolls Royce and related supply chains.

“Ireland is a big player in this sector, for instance managing over 50 per cent of the world’s leased aircraft. Increasing our global presence in this market will drive exports and jobs at home.”

The Minister’s presence will help foster trade links with the UK, USA and France which have high potential growth in the sector, and developmental opportunities in countries such as Germany and South Africa.

Dr Tom Kelly, Enterprise Ireland’s Divisional Manager, Industrial, Life Sciences & Consumer, who is accompanying the Minister said the Irish aviation and aerospace sector was respected globally as an innovator and market leader, and that attendance at the event would support clients’ efforts to deepen their presence in the UK, while also accessing global opportunities in the aviation and aerospace sector.

“Our long-standing tradition in the sector means we have built up a wide range of high-level skills and key competencies in areas such as leasing, aircraft maintenance, component manufacture and airline support services, so Farnborough Airshow is a great place for Irish aviation and aerospace companies to be seen,” Dr Kelly said.


The Farnborough International Airshow is a week-long event that combines a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public airshow. The event is held in mid-July in even-numbered years at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire,England. The first four days (Monday to Thursday) are dedicated exclusively to trade, with the final three days open to the public.

The airshow is an important event in the international aerospace and defence industry calendar, providing an opportunity to demonstrate civilian and military aircraft to potential customers and investors. The show is also used for the announcement of new developments and orders, and to attract media coverage.

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Coltraco Ultrasonics CEO receives Honorary Doctor of Science for his commitment to R&D and British talent

Coltraco Ultrasonics CEO receives Honorary Doctor of Science for his commitment to R&D and British talent

Coltraco Ultrasonics CEO, Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter, has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Durham University. Carl is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers and a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, The Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.

He maintains a focused Vision-Mission-Strategy approach to business and a commitment to integrity. He believes that Science and Mathematics should be at the core of the company and that Science and Arts graduates should combine their talents. Carl travels the world and is an outstanding ambassador for UK Business and Durham University.

Commenting on the award, Carl explained :

“Professor Paula Chadwick is a kind and extraordinary Ambassador for Durham University. A Ground Based Gamma Ray Astronomer, Paula has influenced me and our scientific direction for many years. It is really to her and the University that I thank for this great honour, and indeed my wife and Family who have contributed so much over the years to enable this. In terms of the direction towards Science it is to Sam and my great friend, guide and mentor, Mr Gene House, formerly Managing Director of United Airlines, United Services, who opened my eyes to the world of aeronautical engineering. I thank you Paula, Dorothy, George, Clare, Henry, Mary, Sam, Douglas and Gene and to so many of you in research who so kindly support us.”

Professor Paula Chadwick kindly mentioned in her Oration :

” (…) Time and again I have heard Carl tell students that wherever they decide to go, they should look for a company that values them as human beings and will seek to develop their skills, and that both scientific and personal integrity is the bedrock of successful industry. Carl is running a remarkable company… Chancellor, I present Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter for the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.”


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Professor Michael Morris new director of AMBER research center

Professor Michael Morris new director of AMBER research center

AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin, has today announced the appointment of Professor Michael Morris as Director of the organisation. Professor Morris, a native of Liverpool, UK, has been in position since October.

A leading academic and industry scientist for thirty years, Professor Morris is also founder of Glantreo, an SME spin out company from University College Cork, and maintains links with the company in developing novel stationary phase materials for chromatography applications.

Welcoming the appointment Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said:

“Professor Morris brings a depth of knowledge at a senior level in both academia and industry which will serve him well in his leadership of AMBER and I wish him well in the role. The research carried out at AMBER is the type of excellent and impactful science which Science Foundation Ireland aims to support, delivering solutions that can benefit both Irish society and the economy.”

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Mick Morris, said :

“I am delighted to be taking up the position of Director of AMBER, and look forward to working closely with the talented researchers within the Centre and driving new partnerships with industry. I am delighted to be working with colleagues here to support the best research in materials science. Ireland is now ranked 3rd in materials science in the world and AMBER has played a significant role in this positioning.”

AMBER has a strong emphasis on linking industry to the world class research being carried out in AMBER and by the associated researchers, across the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry, Bioengineering and Medicine, with an international network of collaborators and companies.

The aim of the centre is to translate our breakthrough science into technologies and products that directly impact everyone’s quality of life. Examples where we have had significant industrial and commercial impact include, the development of the next generation computer chips as well as new medical implants and pharmaceuticals that will improve patient care.

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CONNECT’s Professor Luiz DaSilva elected IEEE Fellow

CONNECT’s Professor Luiz DaSilva elected IEEE Fellow

Professor Luiz DaSilva, Professor of Telecommunications in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, and principal investigator at “CONNECT”, the world-leading Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre at Trinity, has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest and most prestigious professional association for the advancement of technology.

He received the honour in recognition of “contributions to cognitive networks and resource management for wireless networks”, and becomes the fourth CONNECT researcher to earn the award, the others being Prof. Tom Brazil (UCD), Prof. Peter Kennedy (Tyndall National Institute), and Prof. Cian Ó Mathúna (Tyndall National Institute).

Professor DaSilva is a principal investigator on several world-class telecommunications research projects funded by the National Science Foundation in the United States, SFI, and the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 and Framework Programme 7. He is a co-applicant of CONNECT, the SFI research centre, and holds a Principal Investigator grant from SFI.

IEEE Fellowship is conferred each year on individuals with an outstanding record of accomplishment in an IEEE field of interest. It is a rare honour with only one-tenth of one percent of the organisation’s total voting membership receiving the accolade annually. The organisation has over 400,000 members in more than 160 countries and is a leading authority on a wide range of areas from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership.

Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 per cent of the world’s literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed more than 900 active industry standards.  The organisation also sponsors or co-sponsors nearly 400 international technical conferences each year.

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Registration open for Innovation Showcase 2015

Registration open for Innovation Showcase 2015

Yesterday, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, has invited people from business, science and research communities to register for the second annual Innovation Showcase event, which will take place at Convention Centre Dublin on Tuesday 8th December, from 8.30am.

Organised on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation by Enterprise Ireland and supported by IDA Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, the aim of the Showcase is to achieve significant economic impacts through increased engagement between the public research system and industry.

3 keynote industry speakers from Ceramicx, Accenture and IBM will discuss how their use of supports for research and innovation has improved their businesses. Experts from Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland will also be on hand to give advice on accessing funding and opportunities for engagement with the public research system.

Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation, Damien English TD who will open the event explained :

“Driving innovation and research within enterprise is a national priority. Building on the success of last year’s Innovation Showcase, the 2015’event will bring together all of the State funded R&D supports available to industry to help them build their own R&D capacity either through collaboration with the higher education sector or through direct support to the company.” He also added :

“Companies who are new to research collaboration can find out all they need to know at the Innovation Showcase and I would encourage people to register to attend. It’s also a chance for those who already have association with our public research system to engage further and access new supports.”

Even if there is no charge for attendance, registration is compulsory and can be followed here.

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Global Irish Design Challenge launched

Global Irish Design Challenge launched

Irish Design 2015’s Global Irish Design Challenge is now open for submissions until the 30th of November. This is an opportunity for design professionals, students and graduates to be featured in a high-profile exhibition at the new national design centre in Dublin next year, with the potential to tour internationally.

Entrants are invited to submit a product, project or concept that has the potential to revolutionise the way we live. The aim is to showcase innovative Irish design solutions to current and future global challenges while activating and connecting a global network of Irish design talent.

The Global Irish Design Challenge is free to enter and is open to designers of every discipline including architects, furniture designers, animators, service designers, design engineers, fashion and textile designers, product designers, graphic and web designers, etc.

The Challenge accepts new, existing and speculative work, so entrants are welcome to submit a project that they are currently working on, a great idea that they’ve had hiding in their desk for years, or something that has already changed the world and made them famous.

An international panel of high-profile design experts will assess submitted entries, with the announcement of selections planned for January 2016. ID2015’s ambition is that an exhibition of the selected work will be launched in Dublin as part of the centenary celebrations for 2016.

The closing date for entries to the Global Irish Design Challenge is 30 November, 2015. Find out more and register by visiting the Irish Design 2015 website.

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Start-ups from every continent heading for the Web Summit

Start-ups from every continent heading for the Web Summit

This week’s Dublin-based Web Summit (3th-5th of November) will have something of a Latin flavour, with a large number of start-ups coming from South America. At least 16 young companies are coming from Brazil alone, and there will also be representatives from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

They’ll be joining would-be entrepreneurs from more than 100 countries, who will arrive over the next few days to take part in the final summit to be held in Dublin before it relocates to Lisbon next year.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny looks almost certain to miss the final Web Summit in Dublin this week after only receiving a formal invitation late on Friday evening.

Mr Kenny has been a big supporter and high-profile attendee at the high-tech networking event – which has received €700,000 in State funding over the last three years – since it was first held in Dublin in 2013.

More than 30,000 attendees are expected to come, including 1,000 investors, 800 journalists and 2,000 start-ups from around the world. There will be 21 side-summits taking place, including a start-up summit, an investor summit, an accelerator summit, a data summit, a code summit and a music summit.

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Irishman to oversee ICT organisation

Irishman to oversee ICT organisation

Lero director Professor Mike Hinchey has been selected as president-elect of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), which has more than 500,000 members worldwide.

Limerick native Hinchey’s election as the 18th president of IFIP was made at its General Assembly in Daejeon, Korea. He will serve as president-elect until the next General Assembly in Costa Rica in September 2016, after which he will take on a three-year term as president.

Recognised by the UN, IFIP brings together more than 3,500 scientists from industry and academia, organising them into more than 100 working groups and 13 technical committees to conduct research, develop standards and promote information sharing.

IFIP incorporates ICT professional associations from more than 50 countries and regions with a total membership of more than half a million.

Director of Lero and Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Limerick, Professor Hinchey was previously Director of the Software Engineering Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland.

The Limerick man remains a consultant to NASA. His work has been implemented in various space projects and will be incorporated in future missions. Particular areas of software research for Professor Hinchey include formal methods, autonomous systems and software reliability.

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Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, launched the 2015 season of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) in the search for Ireland’s best young problem solvers. The prize for the top four decoders is the opportunity to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in Bulgaria in July 2015. Schools can sign up for the contest at

AILO challenges secondary school students to engage in code-breaking to decipher complex puzzles in unfamiliar languages. Typical puzzles include deciphering numerical spy codes and decoding ancient scripts. The contest is run by the ADAPT Centre, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

Speaking at the launch at the Department of Education and Skills, Minister O’Sullivan encouraged students to sharpen their code-breaking skills. She said: “The ability to solve problems and complex puzzles is invaluable for all students throughout their education and career paths. The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad inspires students to think outside the box and develop their problem-solving skills. I encourage students to take part in AILO 2015 and test their minds against the world’s languages.”

Professor in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin, and CEO of AILO organisers ADAPT, Vincent Wade, added: “With over 9,000 participants to date, AILO is committed to developing problem-solving techniques in secondary school students in Ireland. These 21st century skills are indispensable for future in careers across computing, media, communications and business.”

Earlier this year, the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment reported that Irish students are “average” when it comes to creative problem solving skills for tackling real-life problems. AILO aims to help Irish students to hone these valuable skills in a fun, interactive manner.

Luke Gardiner from Gonzaga College in Dublin, who represented Ireland in China at the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) last year, said: “The experience of taking part in the Linguistics Olympiads, attempting such fascinating problems and meeting people from all over the world at the IOL, has been wonderful.  It was particularly enjoyable to work through the Armenian team problem with the other members of the Irish team.”

The Olympiad is run by the ADAPT Centre, the global centre of excellence for digital content and media innovation led by Trinity College Dublin, in partnership with  Dublin City University, University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology. Recent investment of €50 million by Government and industry has seen the creation of the new ADAPT Centre that will revolutionise how customers and companies engage with each other digitally. Leading-edge innovations will enable delivery of the right content to the right customer, at the right time, in their preferred format and language, and on the device of their choice.

AILO’s primary aim is to enhance students’ problem solving skills in order to prepare them for high-tech careers in Ireland’s multi-billion euro digital content sector. Launched by the ADAPT partners in 2009, the contest has attracted more than 9,000 secondary school students to date. This year sees the introduction of a junior category to encourage younger students (aged 15 or younger) to take part.

The top 100 students from the qualifying round will progress to the national final, which will be held at Dublin City University on 24th March 2015. The overall top four performers will go on to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in Bulgaria in July 2015.

2015 is already a record-breaking year for the contest as more than 3,000 students have registered. Schools can register online until the end of January at

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