Trinity College Dublin: Trinity to welcome Royal Society Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellows

Two researchers – Dr Michael Gibbons and Dr Michelle Browne – will join Trinity after winning University Research Fellowships to pursue research addressing issues of sustainability.

The pair are being supported by Science Foundation Ireland and will take up positions as Royal Society Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) University Research Fellows.

Dr Gibbons was funded for a project titled Loop heat pipe for waste heat recovery in data centres. He will harness data centre waste heat to produce usable energy that will reduce data centre energy requirements and carbon emissions.

Data centres enable social networking, banking, and online shopping to function, but they also consume 1.1–1.5% of the world’s total energy and have one of the fastest-growing carbon footprints.

Dr Browne was funded for a project titled New Catalysts for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction. She will design and scale-up new active and inexpensive materials for water electrolysers to allow for the large-scale implementation of this renewable energy route.

Dame Linda Partridge, Biological Secretary and Vice President of the Royal Society, said:

The URF scheme honours high calibre early career scientists throughout the UK and Ireland. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the research community, and so it is essential that long-term, flexible funding schemes like this are in place to continue to support the careers of researchers pursuing novel and ground-breaking research.

The scheme is central to the Society’s commitment to fostering excellence in science by supporting early career researchers who are fundamental to the future of global science. It is gratifying to see the URF scheme expand this year to support the biomedical sciences, a discipline that was vital in the response to the pandemic. This will ensure we continue to support a wide breadth of science through the scheme.

The University Research Fellowship scheme was established to identify outstanding early career scientists who have the potential to become leaders in their fields and provide them with the opportunity to build an independent research career.

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