Research award for physics student

3 Jun 2005

Jim O’Doherty, a second-year PhD student at the Department of Physics, University of Limerick, has won the 2005 Embark Initiative Research Achievement Award.

O’Doherty, who was awarded Embark Initiative funding in October 2003 and is due to complete his research in September 2006, took this latest award for his research into a non-invasive, tissue viability imaging system. This consists of a standard digital camera equipped with polarisation filters, which enable the user to see through the surface layers of the human skin and to produce video images of the underlying blood vessels. The system can be used to monitor the growth of blood vessels (in relation to grafts, burns and so on) and skin diseases such as ulcers and cancers.

The research achievement award, which carries a bursary of €3,000, is open to all postgraduate researchers who are in receipt of Embark Initiative funding. This year’s award focuses on the fields of physics and mathematics.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in Dublin Castle, Martin Hynes, director of the Embark Initiative, said: “Knowledge of research funded by the State and its benefits must be brought to a wider audience outside of academia and the science community. As well as providing such an opportunity the Awards create a platform for the researchers to come together and to share experiences and thoughts on their various forms of research.”

The Research Achievement Awards are one of a number of Awards created by the Embark Initiative, the research funding initiative operated by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. The awards honour the work of Embark scholarship researchers and help to create greater awareness of the research being undertaken by Embark researchers in third-level institutions.

Eight Embark researchers from throughout Ireland were selected to compete for the Research Achievement Awards. Each researcher presented their work to an adjudication panel to compete for the overall award.

By Brian Skelly