5 UL Researchers presented with prestigious Lero Awards!!
UL Professor & Director of Lero, Brian Fitzgerald received a special award in recognition of his contributions to the Science Foundation Ireland Research centre at the Lero Summit on Thursday. Brian is a founding member of Lero and has played an instrumental role in its ongoing success over the last 7 years.
“The Rory O’Connor Prize commemorates our dear Lero colleague Professor Rory O’Connor, a founding member of Lero who sadly passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. He was an outstanding researcher, leader, and colleague, and so it is particularly fitting that Brian should receive this named prize for his own outstanding contributions to the Lero centre.
“Like Rory, Brian is also a founding member of Lero, and has played an instrumental role in its ongoing success, both in terms of his own world-class research record, and his gentle and inspiring leadership of the centre over the last seven years. Under his leadership, Lero has become one of the world’s best-known and highly-regarded software research centres, drawing software research talent from all over the world to Ireland, and contributing a remarkable body of research that is impacting the software industry, education, and society more broadly.” he added.
Another 3 UL Researchers were also awarded Lero Director’s Prizes Awards at the ceremony.
Lero Director’s Prizes are presented annually at Lero’s annual summit where researchers from Lero’s 12 partner universities and institutes of technology come together to meet and share ideas. This was the fifth year of the honours conferred by Lero on some of its outstanding members nationwide.
Speaking at the annual conference, Professor Fitzgerald, Director of Lero, said he never fails to be impressed by the calibre of work conducted by Lero’s research teams.
“Lero researchers devise innovative solutions for practical challenges spanning a wide spectrum of domains, ranging from uncovering deepfake videos generated using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhancing surgical skills. Their expertise, commitment, and creative approach to problem-solving consistently leave me in awe. These accolades acknowledge the best of that work,” he remarked.
The 2023 Lero Director’s Prize for Research Excellence was awarded to Prof. Ita Richardson, UL. Ita has an outstanding research record. Her work centres on software processes in a range of environments and domains, including global software engineering and connected health. She has also maintained an interest in women’s issues, particularly those of women working in computing and engineering disciplines.
Lero Director’s Prize for Diversity and Inclusion was presented to Brian Harkin, UL and Dr Sally McHugh, University of Galway. Brian and Sally facilitate the transformative coding program, CodePlus, which provides an introduction to Computer Science for Transition Year (TY) girls.
Lero Director’s Prizes for Collaboration were awarded to Dr Martina Prendergast (UL), Lero’s International Funding Manager and Prof. Edward Jones, and Martin Glavin of University of Galway.
Martina received the award in recognition of her collaboration with colleagues across Lero’s academic partners nationally to secure external funding while also supporting and mentoring Lero researchers through the external funding application process. Martin and Edward received the award for their outstanding record of research collaboration, in particular with industry.
2023 was the first year an award was presented for Open Source / Open Science, in recognition of Lero’s commitment to the principles and practices of Open Science. In the past year, it established an Open Source Programme Office (OSPO), published an Open Science Charter and won a Young European Research Universities Open Science Award. Dr Paddy Healy (UL), won the inaugural award. Paddy headed up Lero's OSPO, was a member of Lero's Open Science Committee and contributing author of Lero's Open Science Charter. .