World Leading Researcher in Structural Mechanics for Composite Materials Joins University of Limerick

Prof Paul Weaver

The University of Limerick has appointed Professor Paul Weaver as Bernal Chair of Composite Materials and Structures.  He will lead a cutting edge research programme which will position Ireland as an international hub for advancing products and services in the Composite Materials sector.

Prof. Paul Weaver has been awarded €6.1 million in funding under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Professorship programme to work on the VARICOMP project. The VARICOMP project will develop large scale customised engineering structures tailored at each phase of construction to meet specific requirements using additive layer manufacturing techniques.

Commenting on his appointment Prof. Weaver said, “I am delighted to join the University of Limerick as Bernal Professor of Composite Materials and look forward to working with colleagues across UL and IComp. UL has an ambitious team of researchers with different yet complementary skills in manufacture and structural mechanics and I am looking forward to the opportunities that highly tuned composite materials can bring to this research field and industries”.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland welcomed the appointment saying: “Professor Weaver is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of composite materials. His appointment epitomises Science Foundation Ireland’s dedication to increasing Ireland’s international standing as a location for high quality research underpinning the composite industry”.

As a leading authority in the field of structural mechanics for composite materials, Prof. Weaver has been Professor of Lightweight Structures and Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites in the University of Bristol for the last seven years.  He has worked with design aspects of composite materials, for over 25 years, working with NASA Langley, Airbus UK, GE Aviation and Vestas Wind Systems.  Recently his research has focused on the emerging field of morphing composite structures where he continues to develop novel concepts for composites structures, winning numerous awards and accolades for his work.

Dr. Mary Shire, Vice President for Research, University of Limerick welcomed the appointment: “Professor Paul Weaver is a world leader in composite materials and we are delighted that he has joined UL’s Bernal Institute and is the recipient of this prestigious Science Foundation Ireland award.  This appointment builds on our significant strengths in composites and will further enhance the Enterprise Ireland funded Irish Composites Research Centre hosted at UL. This is a great example of where funding across the spectrum of agencies is coming together to deliver for an area that has enormous potential for our economy.”

The University of Limerick alongside the Irish Centre for Composites Research (IComp) technology centre are becoming world leaders in composite materials.  IComp, which was established through €5M Technology Centre Programme funding from Enterprise Ireland & IDA in 2010, provides technical support to enable Irish industry take advantage of the growing global composites market.  This funding was extended by a further investment of €6.8M in 2015 and the appointment by UL to create a professorial chair position indicates the level of commitment that UL is investing in this discipline.