SFI unveils Keane as interim director-general

26 Jul 2006

Prof Mark Keane (pictured) has been named as temporary director-general of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the group announced today.

Since last November, SFI has been undertaking what it said was an “international recruitment process” to find a successor to Dr William Harris, whose five-year term as director-general came to an end this month and who has returned to the US to take up an academic position there.

SFI confirmed that it identified suitable candidates since then but pending confirmation by the SFI board, Prof Keane will act as director-general of the foundation.

Keane has been director of ICT at SFI for the past two years. He took up this position two years ago on secondment from his position as chair of Computer Science and Associate Dean of Science at University College Dublin (UCD).

Prof Keane has made significant contributions in the fields of cognitive science and artificial intelligence in the areas of analogy, case-based reasoning and creativity. He is the founding director of the Smart Media Institute at UCD. He has published over 130 publications, including 16 books, that are cited widely in academic literature. He is co-author of an authoritative textbook in cognitive science now entering its fifth edition.

SFI chairperson Dr Pat Fottrell praised the “pivotal role” that Keane has played in SFI’s success through his leadership of the ICT investment portfolio. “As an internationally recognised researcher with a strong record of academic and administrative skills, he has the experience to continue driving the vital role of SFI in building an internationally competitive scientific and engineering research community in Ireland,” Fottrell said.

By Gordon Smith