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.