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2021 A Year in Review

Posted on: 04 Feb 2022

2021 A Year in Review


The darkness of January days began to subside and were brightened by the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), SFI Centre for Photonics, who shed light on a new treatment for neurological disorders. The innovative light technology developed by IPIC for Synergia Medical will benefit patients suffering from chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, depression and more.

The month continued on this positive note with the appointment of Professor Dimitra Psychogiou, an inspirational Leader in STEM and a global academic expert in high-frequency RF technologies who is undertaking internationally-leading research at the Microelectronics Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI) at Tyndall.



February, spring, the beginning of new growth with news of our first research facility outside of Cork the wireless communications laboratory led by Prof Holger Claussen in Dublin.

Other fresh projects were sprouting - thanks to funding successes. Tyndall and UCC Researchers were awarded €3.5 million to turn waste heat into electricity and develop a revolutionary device that can harvest and store the waste heat produced by power generators, factories and domestic heating systems through project TRANSLATE. Existing projects like that of ASCENT+ continued to flourish as they launched transnational access for the nanoelectronics research community to key European institutes - representing €2.5 billion investment.

Global multinational DeRoyal signed a €1million partnership with Tyndall, RCSI SWaT researchers, and consortium members to transform compression wound therapy, a collaboration which plans to innovate the next generation of compression wound care therapy, significantly advancing the treatment of non-healing chronic wounds.



We celebrated our incredible Woman@Tyndall for the month of March, as an extension of International Women’s Day:

In other news that month Biophotonics@Tyndall made strides in Colon Cancer Diagnoses and Treatment. Their breakthrough research, in collaboration with clinicians at Mercy University Hospital (MUH) and Cork University Hospital (CUH), into new biophotonics technology for disease detection and surgical guidance received international acclaim, developing a more effective and less invasive way to diagnose and treat colorectal cancer.



April, spring is in full bloom and so too are ambitious commercialisation plans for Varadis, the Cork based deep technology radiation detection company and Tyndall spin-out who was awarded a €600,000 European Space Contract.

World Quantum Day 2021 sparked a strong unison of quantum scientists from over 60 countries in a joint effort to promote the public understanding of Quantum Science and Technology around the World.

The end of the month saw a critical report released by the International Energy Research Centre (IERC) on how Retrofitting homes could generate health and well-being benefits of up to €600 million annually and a call on the Government to exceed the current home retrofitting ambitions in terms of speed and scale to leverage the environmental, social, and economic benefits for the Irish economy.



May, the beginning of summer and exciting times ahead where Minister Simon Harris launched Ireland’s first Quantum Computer Engineering Centre at Tyndall. The multi-million-euro investment will see an additional 900 sq metres of research space and 45 new jobs dedicated to quantum research at Tyndall National Institute. The announcement was made at an official event on May 13th which saw world leading experts speak to Irish researchers, policy makers and industry leaders on the ‘Quantum Revolution’ and the scale of opportunity for Ireland in this emerging multi-billion-euro market.



The gateway to summer officially opens in June and in tandem the Biophotonics@Tyndall group host their annual Biophotonics Workshop summer series. The group had a special announcement in store for attendees this year with the launch of a first-of-its-kind Biophotonics Kit for STEM.

Like April, the end of June saw the release of another critical report by the EnABLES project and a strong call to action to policymakers and the green agenda. Alongside the alarming statistic that 78 million batteries will be dumped every day by 2025, was a call to develop green technology to enable the deployment of green solutions to power IoT.

In the same month, we featured Dr Kafil M.Razeeb, Senior Staff Researcher and Principal Investigator (PI) at Tyndall and his path to Research Excellence. His deep expertise has empowered him to address global biomedical and environmental energy challenges.



In July, we discussed Chemistry Careers and the importance of STEM Education with Anne-Marie Kelleher. Sharing fond memories as a student of STEM, she highlights the importance of education in sparking her own curiosity for chemistry which led her towards a fascinating career.

Despite a challenging year with the pandemic, our own students continued to achieve outstanding discoveries and results as part of their PhD projects, some even opening major new possibilities in their field. We celebrated these achievements again this year by showcasing their Research Excellence in the 2020 Postgraduate Publication Competition.

In the spotlight for Career Focus this month was Mike Hayes, Head of Group ICT for Energy Efficiency and EnABLES project coordinator, who shared how persistence is the key to research excellence.

July ended on a high note with two announcements:



Summer internship at Tyndall & IPIC is all about nurturing you to the next phase of your career and so in August we caught up with some of our undergraduate interns. For 2021, the internship programme was designed in a flexible manner for blended working that accommodated online remote learning as well as supervised lab access for each intern. 

We were delighted to announce that Dr Christopher Broderick, newly appointed Staff Researcher was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship and will be spending the two-year outgoing phase of the three-year Fellowship at the University of California, in sunny Santa Barbara (UCSB). Dr Broderick will be working under the supervision of Prof. Chris Van de Walle, a Herbert Kroemer Distinguished Professor with the UCSB Materials Department. Prof. Van de Walle is a world-leading researcher in theoretical and computational materials physics.

It’s not always what’s on our CVs or our academic qualifications that gives us that certain X Factor which propels us to success. Outside of work, our staff and students have many hidden talents and so for World Photography Day we showcased the hidden talent of Dr Ramsey Selim, photographer, technology enthusiast, and travel lover!

In other news in August, we announce Tyndall researchers working with Irish SME Net Feasa to make 25 million steel containers smarter and more energy efficient.



In September, we harvest our achievements from 2020 and produce our annual report, launched by Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the critically important role research plays in addressing some of the major challenges faced by society. Our report demonstrates how Tyndall drives Ireland’s leadership in deep-tech within Europe, advances in research and innovation which are having significant impact in creating solutions for areas such as climate change, healthcare, and energy production.

Again this month, we reveal a Hidden Talent, one which is a very important and potentially life-saving - that of Mélusine Pigeon, Senior Post-Doc Researcher and First Aider.              




October, with its falling leafs and temperatures is ironically the perfect month to call out another development by the IERC at Tyndall in the area of sustainable energy. The team discovered an untapped energy saving potential from commercial property could trigger €219m investment in sustainable energy and through a project known as SmartSPIN, are running a pilot programme across Spain, Greece and Ireland to test a unique Energy Efficiency-as-a-Service model to address these challenges.

In the same month we reveal the Hidden Talent of Dr Shree Krishnamoorthy, Post-Doc Researcher in the Biophotonics Group, IPIC, comedian and writer who is passionate about life, light and most importantly laughter.



We at Tyndall have much to be thankful for in November:



2021 ends on a high note for one our PIs - Principal Scientist Dr Michael Nolan is announced as Chair of the Science Council of the Irish Centre for High End Computing who has had an incredible path to Research Excellence.

Another of IPIC’s projects scoops funding, MedPhab, Europe’s first pilot line for photonic-based medical devices is awarded €1.8m fund to develop novel medical devices.

We are now one month in of 2022 and will finish on a positive note. We are truly looking forward to the year ahead of us as we return to the workplace in accordance with government guidelines.