Pictured at the event were NUI Galway’s: Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research; Professor Steven Ellis, Professor of History, School of Humanities; Dr Molly Byrne, HRB Research Leader and School of Psychology; Dr Nathan Quinlan, Lecturer in Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics; Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Acting Director of the Centre for Disability Law, Institute for Lifecourse and Society; Dr Patrick McGarry, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics; Dr Laoise McNamara, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics; and the University’s President, Dr Jim Browne.
Jul 06 2015 Posted: 11:45 IST

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2015 Ryan Award for Innovation, and the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence. These awards are made to members of the NUI Galway research community, by the University’s President Dr Jim Browne, in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research.

The Ryan Award for Innovation 2015 went to the team behind The Galway energy-efficient Car’ (the Geec), consisting of Engineering lecturers Dr Nathan Quinlan, Dr Rory Monaghan and Dr Maeve Duffy. The lecturers, all from the College of Engineering and Informatics, worked with a team of NUI Galway engineering students to design and build the fuel-efficient car which can achieve the equivalent of 8,000 miles per gallon.

In May 2015, the students competed with the car in the European round of Shell Eco-marathon in Rotterdam. It was Ireland’s first ever entry in the event with the team finishing in the top half of the leader board.

Now in its second year, the Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of Environment, Marine and Energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. The Ryan Award is a very prestigious award and €25,000 is a significant amount of funding to make a difference in progressing an innovation, technology or idea to the next level, while delivering impact.

In addition, the winners of the 2015 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as:

In the ‘Early Stage Researcher’ category:
Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Acting Director of the Centre for Disability Law, Institute for Lifecourse and Society
Dr Elaine Dunleavy, Centre for Chromosome Biology and School of Natural Sciences
Professor Declan Devane, School of Nursing and Midwifery

In the ‘Established Researcher’ category:
Professor Steven Ellis, Professor of History, School of Humanities
Dr Molly Byrne, HRB Research Leader and School of Psychology
Professor Afshin Samali, Apoptosis Research Centre, and School of Natural Sciences

In the ‘Research Supervisor’ category:
Dr Aaron Potito, Head of School of Geography and Archaeology
Dr Patrick McGarry, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics
Dr Laoise McNamara, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics.

Speaking at the event, Dr Jim Browne said: “Earlier this year, we launched our new strategic plan, entitled Vision 2020. This ambitious plan aims to bring NUI Galway into the top 200 universities in the world while securing €100 million in competitive funding from the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. In our first year we have had tremendous success and so far, NUI Galway leads the field amongst the Irish universities in attracting EU research funds. Thanks to the commitment of our research colleagues across many areas, from biosciences to the social sciences, we are on track to meet our ambitious target by 2020.”

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