Dr Michael Mortell, President of University College, Cork since 1989 has initiated and overseen a rapid development on that campus. Student numbers have risen very substantially, by some 25% in that time, and there has been a major thrust into Microelectronics, and Food Science and Technology. The building of student residences, the provision of the Granary Theatre, a new student building and the improvement of clinical science facilities and additions to the Dental School are among the fruits of Dr Mortell's presidency.
Dr Michael Mortell is a distinguished scientist. He took his doctorate at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and his work as an Applied Mathematician in the area of non-linear acoustics is important and significant. His research activities continued during his time as Registrar and subsequently as President of University College, Cork giving striking evidence of his remarkable organisational ability. With co-workers he identified in 1973 a functional equation later called The Standard Mapping which is of fundamental importance in understanding mathematical CHAOS. Indeed the gain to University College, Cork of an outstanding Registrar and President was a loss to science of an exceptional Applied Mathematician.
No description of Dr Mortell would be complete without a record of his sporting prowess. Dr Mortell captained the University College, Cork hurling team, and in his five years as a member he played a key role in UCC's first ever triumph in the Cork Senior Hurling Championship, in 1963. He went on to become a founder member of the Caltech Rugby team and had the distinction of scoring their first ever try. The Cork Senior Hurling Team was graced by Michael Mortell's elegant style and generous sportsmanship during the 1960s.
Dr Mortell has been awarded an Honorary doctorate by the University of Dublin and by the Queen's University of Belfast. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Ireland.
This year, 1995 is the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Queen's Colleges. In honouring Dr Mortell today, the University of Limerick wishes to celebrate that anniversary and to mark its appreciation of the distinguished work performed by Dr Mortell in his role as President of University College, Cork.