New Posts in Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

NUI Galway was successful in securing two of the new Science Foundation Ireland Engineering Professorship and Lectureship posts announced recently by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin, T.D. Both posts are in the biomedical engineering discipline and the new lecturers will be hired by the College of Engineering and Informatics later this year.

The new staff will be integrated into the research activities of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at the University and will also support the programme within the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). An interesting feature of this Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) scheme is the significant involvement of the private sector which is providing 20% co-funding.

Professor Padraic O Donoghue, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, is delighted with the University's success in this highly competitive proposal call, "Both positions will greatly assist NUI Galway in its goal of generating highly trained and qualified graduates, and in generating world class research, in biomedical engineering in a manner that will be directly relevant to industry. The new lecturers will be appointed following an extensive international search to attract and identify the best available candidates."

One of the positions is a lectureship in functional biomaterials. This position will underpin the recently established Network of Excellence in Functional Biomaterials at the University – a strategic research cluster that has also been funded by SFI under the leadership of Professor Abhay Pandit. The lectureship is in partnership with the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association (DEBRA-Ireland). DEBRA is engaged in identifying and funding specific research projects likely to lead to a cure and successful treatments for epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

The second position is a lectureship in the area of biomechanics and will be associated with the research programme under the direction of Professor Peter McHugh. This position will focus on the combination of core engineering mechanics analysis and design skills with a knowledge of human biology, and the application of these skills in the biomedical science and engineering arena. Strongly supported by the medical technologies sector, the post is part sponsored by Medtronic CardioVascular, Galway, and Stryker Instruments, Cork, whose operations in Ireland are in the cardiovascular and orthopaedic areas, respectively.

The SFI Professorship and Lectureship programme will run for a further three years and it is planned to create a total of 35 new posts over the lifetime of the scheme. The SFI funding covers the first five years for the posts and at that time they will be integrated into the regular university system.

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