UL researchers announced as IRC Laureate Award winners

Dr Ciara Breathnach and Prof Kevin M Ryan

University of Limerick researchers Dr Ciara Breathnach and Prof Kevin M Ryan are among the recipients of the Irish Research Council’s Laureate Awards. Both are at Consolidator level.

Dr Breathnach is Lecturer in History and a member of the Health Research Institute. Her research will examine the relationship between historical death registration data and burial data to explore the history of power in Ireland from 1864 to 1922. In due course, the project will employ two IRC Laureate Fellows drawn from Computer and Data Sciences and two IRC Laureate Scholars in Humanities. This interdisciplinary team will create a digital platform and a linked dataset of civil registration, parish level data and coronial court records to further understand the evolution of power structures, the relationship between registered deaths and burials, cause of death and the prevalence of disease in Ireland.

Kevin M Ryan is Professor of Chemical Nanotechnology at the Department of Chemical Sciences and the leader of the Nanotechnology Research Group at the Bernal Institute.  His research project will focus on using electric fields to organise functional nanomaterials into specific ordered arrangements that can lead to innovative properties that go way beyond the capabilities of conventional materials. For example, a chequerboard arrangement of nanostructures of two different types can deliver properties that are not possible with these materials on their own and will open the door to major innovations in photonics, batteries, photovoltaics and thermoelectrics.

The Laureate Awards were announced by Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development and involve a €29.6 million investment by the Irish Research Council thirty-six “frontier research” projects.