Is flying getting more dangerous?

Opinion: recent incidents may have raised concerns about unsafe planes and flying, but it's really about human psychology and the availability heuristic

There has been a steady stream of stories in 2018 about depressurisation incidents in the air, often with scary, sometimes fatal outcomes. In April, Jennifer Riordan was killed in an accident on a Southwest Airlines flight when an engine failure caused shrapnel from the engine to break a window on her plane. The sudden decompression caused her to be partially sucked out of the plane and, despite frantic efforts from fellow passengers, it was impossible to save her life.

Research Integrity Training

The availability of online training on Research Integrity (RI) was communicated to all staff at the end of May. Such training is of particular relevance to researchers working on projects funded by such agencies as SFI, HRB, IRC, and the European Commission.

Two online modules on Research Integrity are available: 
• Research Integrity (Intro): An introductory course for new researchers, PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career faculty on the topic of Research Integrity
• Research Integrity (Concise): A “refresher” course for experienced researchers such as PhD supervisors and Principal Investigators including those funded by the above-named agencies or who are planning on applying for funding from said agencies

Successful Proposal Writing

Dr Martina Prendergast shares her top tips for successful proposal writing. All of this and more is covered in the upcoming grant writing courses which form part of the Researcher Development programme at UL. There are courses on 27th June, 6th September & 29th November. You can book a place by e-mailing

Launch of Confirm research centre to create over 100 jobs

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has launched the latest Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre, CONFIRM - a ‘smart manufacturing’ research centre led by University of Limerick (UL) and involving 42 companies.

The centre is funded by SFI and industry to a value of €47 million, making it one of the largest new research and development centres in the country. The manufacturing sector is the second largest employer in Ireland and accounts for 24 per cent of total economic output - €110 billion in exports.

The maths behind a perfect cup of coffee

The process behind your favourite hot drink involves growing the beans, harvesting, drying, roasting, grinding, brewing - and maths

Brewing the perfect cup of coffee has long been considered an art, depending on experience and skills honed by baristas and amateur enthusiasts alike over generations. However, each of the processes though which coffee is realised - such as growing the beans, harvesting, drying, roasting, grinding and brewing - are fundamentally science-driven applications. Even the most mature processes can benefit from a scientific approach, grounded in the language of mathematics.

Using maths to fight fraudulent motor insurance claims

Undetected fraudulent claims and lengthy processing times are in part the cause of rapidly deteriorating profitability in the global motor insurance market. It is estimated that fraudulent claims add approximately €50 to each premium in Ireland every year.