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Tyndall winners at UCC Staff Recognition and Research Awards

Posted on: 06 Oct 2017

Tyndall winners at UCC Staff Recognition and Research Awards

We are delighted to announce that Tyndall staff received six awards at the UCC Staff Recognition, Teaching and Research Awards. The winners were revealed at a ceremony in Aula Maxima on 5th October.

The awards recognise a range of talents and expertise at Tyndall, from research career achievement and research support, to the Empowering Women @ Tyndall initiative which supports female staff and students to reach their full potential.

The winners were:

Frank McGrath Perpetual Award for Equality and Welfare:

Empowering Women @ Tyndall

Currently home to around 50 nationalities, Tyndall is a multi-cultural and diverse working environment. The Empowering Women @ Tyndall (EW@T) initiative was established in April 2016 by a group of researchers and administrative staff with a

common vision to support and encourage female staff and students to reach their full potential. The committee, a gender diverse group from all areas of Tyndall, defined a three-year plan to develop, involve, engage and support diversity across the institute.Empowering Women at Tyndall logo with leaves on tree branch

EW@T promotes equality through its many activities including unconscious bias awareness programmes, outreach, mentoring and talks from ‘Inspiring Leaders’ from all walks of life.

Email ew[at]tyndall[dot]ie to find out more.

Leadership Award:

Brian Corbett

Brian is highly respected among his peers as a scientist, team leader, collaborator, and as a driver of new economic activity. He is known for coming up with original ideas, five of which have been granted patent, and for his deep domain knowledge which has attracted invaluable industrial collaboration. He has published over 150 scientific publications.

Currently the Team leader, III-V materials and devices team (Tyndall Photonics), Brian’s exceptional contributions have been widely recognized and he is the recipient of a number of awards for his work including the INTEL Outstanding Researcher Award (2013) and Knowledge Transfer Ireland impact award (2017).

During his time at Tyndall, he has been instrumental in the creation of two successful startups, Eblana and InfiniLED. The latter was acquired by Facebook’s Oculus division last year.

Impact Award:

Anthony Morrissey


Anthony joined Tyndall (then NMRC) in 1993, and spent fourteen years researching a range of technologies. His work with fellow researchers at Tyndall on ‘Microneedles for Medical Applications’ put Tyndall on the global stage in this emerging technology.

In 2007, Anthony joined the newly established Office of Technology Transfer (TTO) in UCC. In 2013, he became Manager of the SFI INFANT Centre which he helped to found. Under his leadership, INFANT became the fastest-growing Research Centre in Ireland at the time, resulting in close to 100 staff & students before he returned to TTO in 2015.

Currently, Anthony is TTO Case Manager for ICT research. He manages IP commercialisation, and industry collaborations for Tyndall, UCC, the SFI Centres IPIC, CONNECT and AMBER, and the EI-IDA Technology Centres MCCI and GRCTC. 

Last year, he was a key contributor to the successful Facebook acquisition of Tyndall spin-out InfiniLED.

Anthony is widely recognized as a tireless and pro-active champion of the value of Intellectual Property and its impact on society and the economy.

Research Supervisor of the Year:

Fatima Gunning

A Physicist originally from Brazil, Fatima has been a researcher at Tyndall since 2003, progressing to Senior Staff Researcher in 2014, with funding from SFI, Horizon 2020 and the Irish Research Council. The Research Supervisor of the Year award recognizes sustained excellence in the supervision and development of exceptional and influential researchers.

Fatima’s pioneering work, which has been published extensively, concerns Optical Coherent Wavelength Division Multiplexing (also known as ‘superchannels’), moving towards the development of adaptive physical layer solutions that complement the emerging area of Software Defined Networks. Fatima collaborates closely with Tyndall’s semiconductor devices team on the next generation of integrated photonic devices.

Fatima is actively involved in initiatives to promote Science in the community, and in particular efforts to increase gender representation in Physics and Engineering at all levels. She’s the acting chair for Empowering Women Committee @ Tyndall, participates in UCC’s Athena Swan focus group, and champions Tyndall’s Centre of Integrated Photonics (IPIC) gender action plan.

Research Support Person of the Year:

Julie Donnelly


Julie managed the successful SFI funded National Access Programme (NAP) for 11 years under which over 650 academic researchers have accessed Tyndall’s research facilities.

Building on this success, Julie also helped to secure almost €5m in funding for the Horizon 2020 ASCENT programme – offering unparalleled access to European nanoelectronics infrastructure including the world’s most advanced 14nm and beyond-CMOS test structures, novel nano-fabrication access and nanoelectronics data, provided through partner sites at Tyndall, imec in Belgium and CEA-Leti in France.

This work, and Julie’s support, leadership and dedication, has raised Tyndall’s profile nationally, in Europe and internationally.

Career Achievement Research Award:

Alan Mathewson


Alan Mathewson joined UCC in 1982 as a Research Scientist in the fledgling NMRC (National Microelectronics Research Centre) which became Tyndall National Institute in 2005. In the intervening 35 years, Alan has played a leading role in establishing UCC and Tyndall as a global leader in microelectronics research.

In the 1980s and 90s, Alan established a major research activity which made ground‐breaking contributions across a range of related microelectronics research problems. For example, in 1987, he demonstrated the first ever functional 3D integrated circuit (a stepper motor controller) which used both electron beam and zone melting recrystallization technologies to create an upper single crystal device layer. This opened a research field (3D systems Integration) that is of critical and growing importance today. His ongoing contributions in silicon technology development, systems integration as well as device and process modelling continue to be highly regarded.

Alan’s graduate student work at Tyndall led to the creation of SensL, a spin‐out company, which is now driving application of photon counting technologies across a range of high‐value markets. Many of Alan’s graduate students have gone on to senior executive roles in global technological companies and research institutes.

In recent years Alan’s role as Deputy Head of Centre for Tyndall’s Micro & Nano Systems Centre has demonstrated his research leadership including as Assistant Director and PI in the SFI Connect Centre. Alan has more than 350 publications in peer reviewed journals and conferences (h– 27), 10 patents and has generated in excess of €30m of research funding over the course of his career.