Big bet on science of small: SFI awards €6m nano funding to UCD

4 Oct 201612 Shares

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Professor Fengzhou Fang. Image: Nick Bradshaw, Fotonic

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World-renowned nanoscientist Fengzhou Fang to lead nanotech manufacturing research at UCD.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has awarded €6m in funding to University College Dublin (UCD) to increase Ireland’s capability as a global centre for nanomanufacturing.

Prof Fengzhou Fang, regarded as one of the world’s pioneers in developing nanomanufacturing, has an impressive track record of combining leading academic research with successful commercialisation of the resulting intellectual property.

‘Not only was my decision to come to Ireland based on the excellent research carried out at University College Dublin, but also on the opportunity to build a strong bridge between academia and industry in manufacturing’
– FENGZHOU FANG

Prof Fang will lead a cutting edge research programme in UCD designed to make Ireland a global centre for nanomanufacturing.

His current research addresses ultra-precision machining of complex surfaces, at micro and nanometre scales, and in soft and hard materials.

These surfaces are used in the global, multi-trillion euro medical devices industry. His UCD research programme could lead to key technical breakthroughs to enhance the processing efficiencies in manufacturing such complex surfaces.

“Not only was my decision to come to Ireland based on the excellent research carried out at University College Dublin, but also on the opportunity to build a strong bridge between academia and industry in manufacturing,” Prof Fang said.

Improving Ireland’s appeal as a destination for world-class research

Prof Fang has written numerous highly cited papers that are fundamental to the development of ultra-precision machining, micro/nanomanufacturing and optical freeform manufacturing. He has successfully collaborated with industry partners on over 100 projects, holds more than 60 patents and has established two companies.

He is the recipient of the prestigious Albert M Sargent Prize from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Nanomanufacturing, the Founding President of the International Society for Nanomanufacturing and a Council Member of the International Academy for Production Engineering.

“The appointment of Prof Fang epitomises Science Foundation Ireland’s commitment to strengthening Ireland’s international reputation for high-quality engineering and manufacturing research,” said Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of SFI.

“Prof Fang has an exceptional international record in both academic publications and industrial collaborations. His expertise will enhance the engineering community in UCD and Ireland, improve Ireland’s appeal as a destination of choice for world-class researchers and industrial collaborations and strengthen the industrial manufacturing base in Ireland.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com