Hamilton Prize award winner Peter Meehan pictured with Dr Romina Gaburro
Hamilton Prize award winner Peter Meehan pictured with Dr Romina Gaburro, Vice-Chair of the Physical, Chemical and Mathematical Sciences committee of the Royal Irish Academy and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UL
Thursday, October 26, 2023

A student at University of Limerick has been given a prestigious award for excellence in mathematics by the Royal Irish Academy.

Peter Meehan was one of just nine students awarded the 2023 Hamilton Prize, given to the top mathematical students in the country.

The 22-year-old from Waterford City is a fourth-year student in the BSc in Mathematics and Physics programme at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in UL’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The Royal Irish Academy awards the prestigious undergraduate Hamilton Prize to the top mathematics students in their final year of study as nominated by their university.

The ceremony took place at the Royal Irish Academy on Hamilton Day – named to commemorate the anniversary of famed Irish scientist William Rowan Hamilton’s discovery of quaternion algebra on October 16, 1843. 

Attending the prize-giving ceremony on the day was Dr Romina Gaburro, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Limerick, and Vice-Chair of the Physical, Chemical and Mathematical Sciences committee of the Royal Irish Academy who said: “I would like to congratulate Peter on winning the Hamilton Prize. The prize is named after one of Ireland’s most famous applied mathematicians, whose work is fundamental to many areas of theoretical physics, and it is fitting therefore that Peter is a student of the joint degree in Mathematics and Physics.”

Commenting on the award ceremony, Professor Pat Guiry, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: Each year since 2002 the Royal Irish Academy has commemorated Hamilton’s ‘Eureka moment’ and his contribution to mathematics by celebrating Hamilton Day. We do this because Ireland has a rich history of scientific excellence that should be celebrated and recognised.

“Although we look to the past to commemorate Hamilton’s achievements, this event is also an opportunity to look to the future and to recognise the next generation of great Irish mathematicians.”

A total of nine students were awarded the prize at the ceremony with each receiving a cash prize of €500, a certificate of achievement, and an invitation to an exclusive masterclass with the 2023 Hamilton Lecture speaker, Professor Wendelin Werner, Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

The nine 2023 Hamilton Prize winners are Ryan Brady, Queen’s University Belfast; Matthew Byrne, Maynooth University; Edward Clarke, Trinity College Dublin; Thomas Patrick Connolly, University College Cork; TJ Griffin, Dublin City University; Dmytro Lyubka, University of Galway; Peter Meehan, University of Limerick; Elaine Pidgeon, University College Dublin; and Dara Vince, Technological University Dublin.

The RIA ceremony and Hamilton Day activities are sponsored by IBEC, who see developing STEM talent as key to safeguarding Ireland’s economic future.