Geological research team wins innovation award

3 Sep 2010

A group that analyses the impact of geological faults has been presented with the NovaUCD 2010 Innovation Award.

The award was presented to the Fault Analysis Group, a research team within the UCD School of Geological Sciences, in recognition of its successes in establishing strategic and collaborative research links with global industry partners and its successful commercialisation activities.

The group of 13 researchers is recognised as a leading international team studying the geological and engineering properties of faults and applying its research outputs to solve practical problems encountered in hydrocarbon and mineral exploration and production activities.

Providers of research funding

Since 2000, when it relocated from the University of Liverpool to UCD, the group has been awarded €6m in research funding, predominantly from industry partners, including British Gas, Shell, Statoil and Tullow Oil. The group has also received funding from Enterprise Ireland, IRCSET, Science Foundation Ireland and the European Union.

Working with UK software vendor Badley Geoscience, the group has jointly developed commercial software products such as TransGen and TrapTester. The TransGen software system has become an industry-standard package and is regularly used by many of the world’s major oil companies to predict the impact of faults and to analyse the flow of hydrocarbons in geological reservoirs. The software licences have provided a significant royalty income to both UCD and the University of Liverpool. The most recent software package has generated royalties of €350,000 over the last number of years.

“This award acknowledges the Fault Analysis Group as a leading example of the scientific community building successful collaborative networks with industrial partners, and through this enhancing the practical application of scientific discoveries,” said Dr Hugh Brady, president of UCD, who presented the award.

“This is the seventh occasion at which the NovaUCD Innovation award has been presented and the first time it has been presented to a research group,” said Dr Pat Frain, director, NovaUCD. “The presentation of this year’s award is particularly timely in that it recognises the role played by the group over several years in developing long-term strategic partnership with industry. Such partnerships are critically important in facilitating the successful commercialisation of university research and maximising its contribution to innovation.” 

“Bridging the gap between academic research and industry and building relationships with industry is a key element of NovaUCD’s commercialisation strategy.”

The Fault Analysis Group recently embarked on a major collaboration with Tullow Oil, in which the latter is funding a lectureship in structural geology within the group.

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