UL Researchers awarded Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grants

Charlemont Award winners, Dr Klaas-Jan Stol, Dr Karol Mullaney-Dignam, Dr Brendan Florio

Three University of Limerick researchers have been awarded the prestigious 2015 Charlemont Award grants for their research projects. These grants facilitate short international visits for early career researchers in the sciences, humanities and social sciences to pursue primary research and/or training. In 2015, the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) awarded 30 Charlemont grants, which were named in honour of the Academy’s first president, James Caulfield, the first Earl of Charlemont (1728-99),  The 2015 class of ‘Charlemont Scholars’ were recognised at an awards ceremony by the President of the Royal Irish Academy at a recent ceremony in Academy House Dublin.

Dr Brendan Florio completed his BSc (hons) at the University of Western Australia (UWA) with an undergraduate research project in dynamical systems under the supervision of Dr Thomas Stemler in 2009. He was awarded the Robert & Maude Gledden scholarship in 2010 for a PhD project at UWA in groundwater convection under the supervision of Dr Thomas Stemler, Prof. Kevin Judd and Dr Neville Fowkes. After obtaining a PhD in 2013, he accepted a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI), University of Limerick, working under Prof. Stephen O'Brien through his SFI funded Investigator Award in two projects: Mathematical modelling of continuous casting and modelling of the global phosphorus cycle. As a 2015 Charlemont Scholar, he will visit Prof. Tim Myers at the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica in Barcelona, Spain for six weeks in April 2015, modelling the melting of nanowires to investigate the nanoscale phenomenon whereby the melting temperature is dependent on the size of the wire. Current research indicates that nanowires will be at the forefront of electronics and computing. They also have applications in biology where they can be used to detect proteins and chemicals and as cancer biomarkers; however, the melting point depression is a major obstacle to their applications.

Dr Karol Mullaney-Dignam joined the Department of History, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, at UL in September 2014, having previously held positions at Maynooth University and as an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her research interests range widely across the modern and early modern periods, encompassing aspects of social and cultural history, musicology, and historiography. Public engagement is a significant aspect of her work and she collaborates with heritage partners to create research-based narratives that enhance the visitor experience at cultural sites and historic properties, making the past relevant to modern society. She has also contributed to radio and television programmes, including TV3’s The Big House documentary series in 2013. Dr Mullaney-Dignam has a particular interest in music and dance as social and cultural observances and markers of individual and collective identities. She is a member of the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) Ireland Steering Committee and manages the ‘Music in the Irish country house’ project, an interdisciplinary research initiative that centres on the social and musical culture of Irish country houses and estates. As a Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Scholar 2015, Dr Mullaney-Dignam will travel to Wales to conduct historical research for a comparative study of community music on the Dunraven estates in the South-West of Ireland and South Wales during the Victorian era.

The third recipient, Dr Klaas-Jan Stol  is a postdoctoral researcher with Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. He has a master’s degree in software engineering from the University of Groningen, and a PhD degree from the University of Limerick. His research interests include Open Source Software, Inner Source, agile and lean software development methodologies, component-based software development, software reuse, research methodology and theory building. His work has been published in several journals, including the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM), Information & Software Technology, and IEEE Software, and conferences such as the International Conference on Software Engineering and the International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE). He has served as a reviewer for various journals and conferences. He co-chaired the Doctoral Consortium at the Open Source Systems conference in 2012 and 2013 as well as the Doctoral Symposium at EASE 2014.