Dr Gordon Armstrong, Chief Technical Officer of the Bernal Institute at University of Limerick (UL) was recently awarded the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.
Presented by Ambassador of France to Ireland, H.E. Stéphane Crouzat, the award is an order of the French Republic, recognising exceptional services to education, culture and the promotion of French language in Ireland.
A Chartered Scientist and Chartered Chemist, Dr Armstrong obtained his PhD in materials science in UL in 2002 before starting his career as a researcher in UL and Trinity College Dublin.
Dr Armstrong then returned to UL in 2006, where he worked in the Stokes Institute and the Material Sciences & Surfaces Institute (MSSI).
Throughout his research career, Dr Armstrong has trained the next generation of researchers, developing courses at undergraduate, Masters and PhD level in nanocomposites and materials characterisation.
This includes a joint supervised PhD between UL and University of Limoges, France, where he is a visiting lecturer in nanocomposites at l’Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Limoges.
Dr Armstrong obtained a Ulysses grant with Professor Armelle Vardelle and Dr. Simon Goutier from the University of Limoges, which led to him winning the ANORAA Award (the French national association of reserve officers of the Air Force).
“I am delighted and honoured in equal measure to have been awarded the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my collaboration with the University of Limoges, and would like to sincerely thank my colleagues in Limerick and Limoges, and above all my family and friends, for their ongoing support which made this possible,” he said.
In his current position as Chief Technical Officer at UL’s Bernal Institute, Dr Armstrong oversees research laboratories used by 350 researchers, including developing and implementing a uniform health and safety management policy across the Institute.
Presenting Dr Armstrong with the award, H.E. Stéphane Crouzat said: “Gordon has helped in allowing young researchers travel between our two countries, meet high-level specialists and professionals and, most of all, has helped maintain a close academic relationship with France at its highest level.”
Insignias of the Palmes Académiques were presented to Dr Gordon Armstrong and Professor John Ringwood (Maynooth University) by H.E. Stéphane Crouzat, Ambassador to France in Ireland, at La Résidence de France in Dublin earlier this month.