The University of Limerick has obtained over €3m in funding from Science Foundation Ireland for research that is focused on solving real industrial challenges.
Pictured are Professor Stephen O’Brien, Minister Seán Sherlock and Joanna Mason, Manager of MACSI at UL.
The University of Limerick (UL) has secured over €3m in funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for research that will have a direct impact on the Irish economy because it is focused on solving real industrial challenges.
Professor of Mathematics Stephen O’Brien, director of the Mathematics Application Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI), is one of the SFI awardees. MACSI uses mathematical models to solve industrial problems. It is actively working on projects with over 25 companies across a variety of sectors including electronics, pharmaceutical, medical device, energy, food and beverage.
Prof O’Brien 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,” Prof O Brien said.
“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,“ Prof O’Brien added.
Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research at UL, said she was delighted to see that government is committed to supporting mathematics research.
“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,” Dr Shire said.
UL also received funding for projects in the areas of software architecture (Dr Jim Buckley) and renewable energy (Dr Fernando Rhen). As with mathematics, these areas are very relevant to key sectors of the Irish economy.