A Focus on Industry-Relevant Research secures UL over €3million in SFI Funding

The University of Limerick has secured over €3M in funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for research that will have a direct impact on the Irish economy as it is focused on solving real industrial challenges. One of the SFI awardees Professor of Mathematics Stephen O’Brien is the director of the Mathematics Application Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI) a center that uses mathematical models to solve industrial problems. The center is actively working on projects with over 25 companies across a variety of sectors including electronics, pharmaceutical, medical device, energy, food and beverage.

Professor Stephen O Brien has welcomed the funding as an endorsement of the importance of mathematics as a discipline that is a vital for modern industry. “Mathematics and specifically mathematical modelling is an enabling technology which is central to the proper technical support of a knowledge-driven economy. The essential process is to identify real problems of concern, build mathematical models, analyse and solve them and interpret the mathematical results in a meaningful way to the advantage of the collaborating partner. This funding will allow for the continuation and the further development of this network of Irish mathematicians with a view to harnessing their mathematical modelling skills to aid enterprise, science and engineering and to raise the profile of mathematics in the country“ said Professor O’Brien.

Speaking about the funding announcement Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research at UL said “I am delighted to see that government is committed to supporting mathematics research as we all know how critical competence in mathematics is for so many aspects of our economy. Research that is carried out at UL is important as it directly helps companies but it also demonstrates to young people the relevance of Maths and the real career choices that it can open up for them in a variety of industries. If we want our kids to improve at Maths we need to make it interesting and exciting and show how it can lead to a successful career."