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Tyndall Celebrated at UCC's Research Awards

Posted on: 02 Jun 2023

Tyndall Celebrated at UCC's Research Awards

Climate scientists, the developers of the medicines of tomorrow, budding entrepreneurs and partners with communities were among the researchers to have their contributions to research and innovation honoured at the 2022 University College Cork (UCC) Research Awards, held at Devere Hall on Thursday, June 1.

UCC is an internationally competitive, research-led university that plays a key role in the development of Ireland’s knowledge-based economy and provides the insight and understanding on the challenges facing our society. The UCC Research Awards embrace this excellence in research, innovation and entrepreneurial activity, across the entire university research community and from all disciplines.

The quality and recognition of research success across the University, including outputs from individuals and UCC Research Institutes and Centres, is measured by key research metrics such as publications, citations, collaborative interactions, patents and spin-out companies. Researchers were awarded across 20 categories, five of which recognise specific achievements in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Tyndall's Martin O’Connell received the award for Research Support Person of the Year. Martin supports and advises members of IPIC, the SFI Centre for Photonics, across all levels, from training young researchers to advising senior staff in grant applications spanning the spectrum from individual fellowships to large consortium-based EU proposals. In 2022, Martin supported the submission of 26 proposals (3 as coordinator). The cumulative funding to UCC from the successful NE-NC proposals was almost €6m, and an additional < €2m for Irish SMEs. This is the largest financial drawdown in any one calendar year since the formation of IPIC in 2013.

Tyndall's Dr Han Shao, Dr Alan O'Riordan and Mr Tarun Narayan received the award for Innovator of the Year in Physical Sciences for their development of an electrochemical sensor for measuring nitrates/nitrites in real time from the soil. Regulation of nitrogen use in global agriculture is under increasing scrutiny and farmers are now expected to have high knowledge of their soil nitrogen health profile. The team have trialled their sensor in European farms, with strong and consistent results. Currently applying for Enterprise Ireland Commercial Feasibility funding, with a goal to form a spinout company to develop a marketable product for global agricultural sector.

Professor John F. Cryan, UCC Vice President for Research and Innovation at UCC said: “Congratulations to all awards recipients. This year, the standard of nominations across all award categories was indicative of the exceptional level of research and innovation throughout the University. UCC is a research-intensive University, and the annual Research Awards recognise and celebrate those UCC researchers who have made exceptional and influential research and innovation contributions, pushing boundaries, enhancing knowledge and raising the national and international research profile of our institution.”

 The full list of UCC Research Awards 2022 winners can be viewed here.