Five Tyndall researchers get funding boost from IRC

19 Dec 2023

Dr Lynette Keeney. Image: Tyndall

Dr Lynette Keeney received IRC funding for her research on energy efficient data storage, while four emerging Tyndall researchers were part of a recent batch of grants.

Several researchers from Tyndall National Institute have received grants from the Irish Research Council (IRC) to pursue exciting projects.

One of the awardees is Dr Lynette Keeney, who received nearly €1m from the IRC’s Advanced Laureate Awards. Keeney will use the funding for her research on new material understanding, with the goal of producing energy efficient data storage and devices to meet increased data demand.

This project could also be a boost for Ireland’s semiconductor industry, due to an increased demand for remote learning, working and entertainment, according to Tyndall. Earlier this year, the institute called for Ireland to create a national strategy to benefit from the opportunities presented by the new EU Chips Act.

“These awards recognise researchers who are pursuing groundbreaking deep-tech research, and we are immensely proud of Dr Keeney’s important work in the area of multiferroic topologies, exploring relationships between magnetic and polar textures,” said Tyndall CEO Prof William Scanlan.

“Dr Keeney’s award is testament to Tyndall’s contribution to the global semiconductor industry.”

Emerging Tyndall researchers

Meanwhile, four Tyndall researchers received grants from three IRC programmes in a recent round of awards issued by the council.

The IRC awarded €24.6m to hundreds of early-career researchers in September to support the next generation of Irish researchers across a range of disciplines.

The four Tyndall researchers who received awards are Dr Karl Rönnby, Dr Anurag Pritam, Michael Sweetman and Hazel Neill.

Dr Michael Nolan, chair of Tyndall’s research committee, said the awardees are tackling “critical questions in materials, data storage and semiconductor technologies”.

“Postgraduate students and early-career researchers, who show high potential as future research leaders, are critical to developing our research excellence at Tyndall as well as providing a pipeline of the highest quality research talent,” Nolan said.

“I congratulate all the awardees and look forward to seeing how they and their research develop through the course of their fellowships.”

In 2024, the functions and activities of the IRC will be merged with Science Foundation Ireland, in a new Research and Innovation funding agency that will be led by Prof Philip Nolan, the SFI’s current director general. Last month, the Government announced that this new agency will be called Taighde Éireann – Research Ireland.

The upcoming agency is part of Ireland’s national strategy to boost research and innovation. This strategy – Impact 2030 – was launched last year by Minister Harris and aims to build a more inclusive and engaged research and innovation system in Ireland.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic