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Research at the Frontier: A public audience with Trinity’s European Research Council Awardees
10 MAY 2017 – 6pm Science Gallery
Our world is complex and challenging.  Frontier research seeks to address these challenges head on, in ambitious and novel ways.  The “Research at the Frontier” event offers an exciting opportunity to meet some of Europe’s top researchers in a relaxed and entertaining event, as they discuss their cutting edge research and the impact that this has on the world around us, now and in the future.  All the speakers at this event are funded by the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) awards. Since 2007 Trinity researchers have won 32 ERC awards. 12 of these are held by the SFI funded materials science research centre AMBER, more than any other research centre in Ireland.
Our six distinguished speakers are:

  • Professor Valeria Nicolosi, the Head of the Characterisation and Processing of Advanced Materials and an AMBER Investigator, works on cutting edge nanomaterial science which underpins the next generation of higher power batteries and supercapacitors with longer lifetimes.
  • Professor Jonathan Coleman, Chair of Chemical Physics in Trinity and AMBER Investigator, whose research focuses on 2-dimenstional nanomaterials and their applications for printable electronics and sensors.
  • Professor Danny Kelly, Director of the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering and AMBER Investigator, will discuss his development of 3D bioprinting for whole joint regeneration which could be used to treat injuries and diseases including osteoarthritis, without the need for complex surgery.
  • Professor Aoife McLysaght, the Head of the Smurfit Institute of Genetics in TCD, will discuss her research on gene duplication in evolution and disease
  • Associate Professor in Social Neuroscience, Redmond O’Connell, is investigating the neural signals that underpin decision making in the human brain
  • Professor Poul Holm  is the Chair of Environmental History in TCD and he will discuss the cross over in his research between marine science and history, and specifically how fisheries contributed to environmental and societal change in the North Atlantic
This is a free event, but please register here,

Professor David McCloskey Inaugural Lecture / DGPP Masterclass
Nanoscale Thermal Transport
12.00, Thursday, 15 December 2016
Schrödinger Lecture Theatre, School of Physics , Trinity College Dublin

Heat energy of uniform temperature [is] the ultimate fate of all energy. The power of sunlight and coal, electric power, water power, winds and tides do the work of the world, and in the end all unite to hasten the merry molecular dance. Frederick Soddy, 1911
This is the third in a series of joint presentations introducing newly appointed academics in the School of Physics. This joint lecture will cover topics in the area of nanoscale thermal transport. In this first part a guest speaker, Dr. Phillip Dobson, from University of Glasgow will outline his recent work in quantifying temperature at the nanoscale using Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM). In the second part of this lecture, Dr. David McCloskey will outline his current and planned work in this area over the coming years. In particular he will discuss recent work on thin film thermoelectrics for control of hot spots in integrated optical components.

David McCloskey,
Ussher Assistant Professor for the Science of Energy and Energy Systems.
Trinity College Dublin
David leads the NanoThermal research Group (NTG) in the new Energy Theme in the School of Physics. His current research interests are in thermal conduction, convection and radiation in micro and nanoscale systems. The group uses nanotechnology and additive manufacturing to structure materials on the length scales of the heat carriers in these processes (electrons, phonons and photons and liquid molecules etc). This allows engineering the thermal properties of materials from the ground up. He has developed a suite of advanced optical and electronic techniques including femtosecond time and frequency domain thermoreflectance (TDTR, FDTR), CCD based thermal imaging (CCD-TR) and 3ω/ resistance temperature measurements to characterise thermal properties of new materials and nanoscale devices. Application areas include thermal barrier coatings, thermoelectric materials and devices, high power high frequency electronics, and thermal control of microphotonics.

Phillip Dobson,
AFM and HyperLithography group,
University of Glasgow
Phil Dobson works in the area of micro- and nano-fabrication. His research interests in this field include the mechanical and thermal properties of devices and materials at the microscopic level. This includes the development of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) sensors that permit measurements to be made on these length scales. His most recent research involves the improvement of Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM), allowing it to provide more quantitative data, as well as expanding it use into aqueous environments.


Professor Aline Vidotto Inaugural Lecture

Planets around other Suns

Schrödinger Lecture Theatre, Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin

Thursday Dec 8, 12pm

One of the most important lessons learned from the discovery of more than 3400 exoplanets (and counting) is the very large variety of planetary systems encountered in nature. In this lecture, Prof Andrew Cameron (University of St Andrews) and Prof Aline Vidotto (TCD) will present different physical perspectives about the diversity of exoplanetary systems. Ultimately, the study of extra-solar systems can help us better understand our own solar system.

Extrasolar planets that transit their host stars are highly prized, because we can measure their radii as well as their masses. In the first part of this lecture, Prof Cameron will describe some of the problems faced in extracting planetary parameters from the various types of astronomical observation needed to deduce planetary bulk densities, which offer clues as to whether planets are mainly rocky, icy or gaseous. A bewildering variety of planetary compositions is beginning to emerge, many of which are not represented in our own solar system. In particular, analyses of the planet population found by the Kepler space mission suggest that we may soon have an idea of the prevalence of Earth-sized planets around other stars.

In the second part of this lecture, Prof Vidotto will describe how exoplanets can be affected by their host stars. The dramatic differences in the Physical properties of the host stars compared to the properties of our Sun, in addition to the extreme architecture of most of the known exoplanetary systems, can give rise to physical interactions that might not even be recognised in the solar system. These interactions can generate observable signatures, thus providing other avenues for planet detection and assessing planetary properties, which would otherwise remain unknown.

Prof. Aline Vidotto
Trinity College Dublin
Aline Vidotto has recently joined the academic staff at Trinity College Dublin as an assistant professor in Astrophysics. Prior to that, she held independent research fellowships from the Royal Astronomical Society (at University of St Andrews) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (at Geneva Observatory). She studies the interaction of exoplanets with their host star's wind, and how this interaction can affect planetary habitability. For that, she develops 3D simulations of winds of Sun-like stars, which permeate entire exoplanetary systems. She has pioneered the step-change in modelling stellar winds that occurred when stellar surface magnetic maps became available. Since magnetism and winds have a strong interplay, her models are some of the most realistic to date. Her realistic account of the wind have supplied more detailed diagnostics of its interaction with exoplanets, guiding observers towards the most promising systems to host detectable signatures of such interactions. She has also developed analytical works on this topic and recently proposed an innovative method to measure exoplanetary magnetic fields.

Prof Andrew Cameron
St Andrews University
Andrew Cameron is Professor of Astronomy at St Andrews. His research is in the discovery and characterisation of extrasolar planets. Cameron obtained his PhD in New Zealand. He held postdoctoral positions at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Universities of Cambridge and Sussex. He held an advanced fellowship and lectureship at Sussex until 1995, when he was appointed to a Readership at St Andrews. He was promoted to a personal chair in 2003 and served as Head of School from 2012 to 2015. He is a founding Co-I of the WASP project, which won the 2010 RAS Group Achievement award for its discoveries. The WASP collaboration includes several UK universities, and has discovered more than 150 gas-giant planets in close orbits about their host stars, using an array of wide-field CCD cameras. WASP detects the dips in light that occur as planets pass between the observer and the host star. Their masses are determined, and their planetary nature confirmed, using optical spectroscopy to measure the reflex motion of the host star about its common centre of mass with the planet.

Space-based transit searches such as CoRoT and Kepler/K2 have produced many smaller planet candidates, down to Earth size. To determine their masses and compositions requires much finer radial-velocity precision, combined with an understanding of the effects of stellar activity on the apparent stellar radial velocity, which is often the dominant signal. Cameron is the UK Co-PI of the Geneva/PHYESTA/Harvard/INAF/Belfast HARPS-North spectrograph project, and is combining high-precision radial-velocity measurements with stellar activity characterisation to push the limits on planetary mass determination down towards the Earth-mass regime. He is a member of the Science Team for the Swiss-led ESA S-class CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite (CHEOPS; launch expected 2017), for which he leads the Working Group on light curve analysis.

Three Centuries of Physics in Trinity College Dublin by Eric Finch

Book Launch

Fitzgerald Library, Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin

16:30, Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Three Centuries of Physics in Trinity College Dublin by Eric Finch, Emeritus, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin (Living Edition, Pöllauberg, 2016)

This book, the sixth volume in the Fitzgerald series, is a historical guide to the development of physics in Trinity College Dublin. It focuses primarily on the three centuries from 1683 to 1984. The study of physics was formalised when in 1724 Richard Helsham became the first Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, as the position is still called. Some of the other distinguished physicists appearing in the book are Molyneux, Bartholomew and Humphrey Lloyd, Hamilton, MacCullagh, Stoney, Fitzgerald, Joly, Trouton, Townsend, Lyle, Preston, Ditchburn, the Nobel Laureate E.T.S. Walton, Delaney, Henderson and Bradley. A detailed analysis is included of the difficult times for physics in Trinity after 1900 and the remarkable revival that began in the 1960s.

If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Úna Dowling

Professor Jose Groh Inaugural Lecture

Astrophysics Duets: The Physics of Stars and Supernovae

Schrödinger Lecture Theatre, Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin

Thursday Nov 3, 12pm

Stars are fascinating Physics laboratories. In this inaugural lecture, Prof Jose Groh (TCD) and Prof Georges Meynet (Geneva University) will cover the most important physical principles that govern the evolution of stars and their dramatic explosions as supernovae.

Stars are key objects to measure distances and ages on scales as large as the observable Universe. Stars are the main engines driving the evolution of galaxies, as they provide energy and synthesize the elements necessary for the emergence of life. Prof Meynet will discuss why stars are evolving objects and their crucial role in the evolution of the Universe. Prof Meynet will conclude with challenging aspects that are currently the frontier in this field of research. For the second part of the lecture, Prof Groh will overview the main aspects of stellar deaths and how his research group is tackling the most pressing challenges stellar evolution.

Prof. Jose Groh
Trinity College Dublin
Prof. Jose Groh is an Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin. His research group investigates the evolution of stars, stellar winds, and supernovae. For his research, he employs both theoretical and observational techniques, such as radiative transfer modeling, numerical stellar evolution, optical interferometry and spectroscopy. Before moving to Trinity, Prof Groh held an Ambizione award at Geneva Observatory (Switzerland) and was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn (Germany). He obtained his PhD from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). He is an elected member of the International Astronomical Union Massive Star Commission.

Georges Meynet
Geneva University
Georges Meynet is a Professor at the Department of Astronomy of Geneva University in Switzerland. His main research activity is the study of Stellar Physics and the exploration of the consequences of stellar evolution for key astrophysical problems. In recent years, Prof Meynet has investigated the nucleosynthesis associated to the first stars, the nature of the progenitors of supernovae and Gamma Ray Bursts, star-planet interactions, and stellar populations in galaxies and starbursts. His research team has also explored exotic aspects such as the effects of WIMPS (dark matter) in stars and the impact of time-variable physical constants on the nucleosynthesis of the first stars.

Lecture Poster here

Previous Events

2016 Events

Space Week at Trinity

Events to be held during National Space Week. Entry to all events is free.


Site Here

EUFOAM 2016 Conference

Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland

3–6 July 2016

Organised by the IOP Liquids and Complex Fluids Group in conjunction with the TCD Foams and Complex Systems Group. EUFOAM is a biennial conference dedicated to foams and their applications, with researchers attending from Europe and overseas. This year, the conference will take place at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. It dates back to 1994, when the first meeting took place in Renvyle, Ireland, organised by the TCD Foams Group. EUFOAM 2016 is the 11th conference in the series.

Speakers confirmed

  • Prof. Raymond E Goldstein, DAMP, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Dr Véronique Schmitt, Université de Bordeaux, France
  • Prof. Slavka Tcholakova, Faculty of Chemistry, Sofia University, Bulgaria
  • Prof.Cécile Monteux, Chercheur CNRS, France
  • Dr Myfanwy Evans, Institut für Mathematik Technische Universität, Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Alan Cooper, Glasgow University, UK
  • Dr Dirk Blunk, University of Cologne, Germany

Important dates

Abstract deadline: 29 February 2016
Early registration deadline: 17 May 2016
Registration deadline: 27 June 2016

For more information visit:

Personal reflections on Francis Crick (8 June 1916 - 28 July 2004): a revolutionary in genetics and neuroscience

Speaker: James D Watson, Nobel prizewinner, Chancellor Emeritus, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York

Schroedinger Lecture Theatre, School of Physics

Monday 13th Juneat at 05:00 pm

James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in Medicine [1962] for their discovery [1953] of the DNA double helix. All of them were influenced by Erwin Schroedinger’s book What is Life? which was based on three lectures given in this theatre in 1943.

There will be a reception afterwards in the Atrium of the Smurfit Institute of Genetics.

Magnetism and Spin Electronics Group Special Seminar

Materials challenges for next generation high-density magnetic recording - media and readers

Lecture Theatre (basement), School of Physics, SNIAM

Wednesday, 04 May at 10:00 am

Kazuhiro Hono
2016 IEEE Magnetic Society Distinguished Lecturer
NIMS Fellow and Director of Magnetic Materials Unit,
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Japan

The hard disk drive industry is making continuous efforts to increase the areal density of magnetic recording. To realize an areal density of higher than 2 Tbit/in2 in the future, both media and readers need technical breakthroughs. Since the bit size will be in the range of 20 nm, the magnetic grains in the recording media must be reduced to less than 6 nm, requiring the use of ferromagnetic materials with high magnetocrystalline anisotropy such as L10 FePt. The shield-to-shield spacing of read sensors must also be smaller than 20 nm with low device resistance (resistance-area product RA~0.1 m2), which is very difficult to achieve using MgO based tunneling magnetoresistance devices. In this talk, we will address the materials challenges to the realization of an ideal media nanostructure using L10 FePt for heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) media and narrow readers for > 2 Tbit/in2 areal density. Recently significant progress has been made in current-perpendicular-to-plane giant magnetoresistive (CPP-GMR) devices using highly spin-polarized Heusler alloy ferromagnetic layers and new spacer materials. The very high magnetoresistance ratios achieved in CPP-GMR are encouraging for future read head applications of CPP-GMR, or its laterally extended version, lateral spin valves. The devices with high magnetoresistive output at low RA may open new applications in addition to disk read heads.

Kazuhiro Hono received the BS and MS degrees in Materials Science from Tohoku University in 1982 and 1984, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Metals Science and Engineering from Penn State in 1988. After working as a post doc at Carnegie Mellon, he became a research associate at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University in 1990. He moved to the National Research Institute for Metals (currently National Institute for Materials Science, NIMS) as a senior researcher in 1995, and is now a NIMS Fellow and the Director of the Magnetic Materials Unit. He is also a professor in Materials Science and Engineering at the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba. His current research interest is materials science in magnetic and spintronics materials and their devices. He is also active in the development of high performance permanent magnets without critical elements.
Contact: Kazuhiro Hono, NIMS, Tsukuba 305-0047, Japan; e-mail:

Rare transit of Mercury to take place on 9 May 2016

On Monday 9 May 2016 there will be a rare transit of Mercury, when the smallest planet in our Solar System will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun. The last time this happened was in 2006, and the next two occasions will be in 2019 and 2032. During the transit, which takes place in the afternoon and early evening in the UK, Mercury will appear as a dark silhouetted disk against the bright surface of the Sun.

The School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin will celebrate this rare event, and will be setting up two telescopes in Trinity's Front Square on Monday, 9 May from 12:00 noon. Additionally, a plasma screen displaying real-time observation of the transit will be shown from a NASA spacecraft called Solar Dynamics Observatory. This will let us view the transit even if it’s cloudy or raining. Mercury will appear as a black dot about 1/150th of the Suns diameter, meaning it’ll be too small to see without magnification. The telescopes, with special solar filters, will let members of the public see what the Sun looks like and to see a planet moving through space across the vast face of our Sun. There will be plenty of expert astrophysicists from Trinity’s Astrophysics Research Group on hand to talk to the members of the public about this exciting event, and to help all view the transit safely.

Click here to find out more.

Less is More: Extreme Optics with Zero Refractive Index

Thursday, 7 April 2016 at 3pm, Schrödinger Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin

Presented by Eric Mazur, Harvard University

Host: James Lunney

Nanotechnology has enabled the development of nanostructured composite materials (metamaterials) with exotic optical properties not found in nature. In the most extreme case, we can create materials which support propagating light waves that have infinite phase velocity, corresponding to a refractive index of zero. This zero index can only be achieved by simultaneously controlling the electric and magnetic resonances of the nanostructure. We present an in-plane metamaterial design consisting of silicon pillar arrays, embedded within a polymer matrix and sandwiched between gold layers. Using an integrated nano-scale prism constructed of the proposed material, we demonstrate unambiguously a refractive index of zero in the optical regime. This design serves as a novel on-chip platform to explore the exotic physics of zero-index metamaterials, with applications to super-coupling, integrated quantum optics, and phase matching.

Seminar: Nanoparticle-based Fluorescence Enhancement for Biomedical Applications

Friday, 1 April 2016, 12 noon, Schrödinger Theatre

Professor Colette McDonagh, Department of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, will give a seminar on "Nanoparticle-based Fluorescence Enhancement for Biomedical Applications" in the Schrödinger Theatre, Friday, 1 April 2016 at 12 noon.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served in the Fitzgerald Library at 11.30 before the seminar.

Public Talk: Systemic Change in University STEM Education

March 16th at 2.30pm in the Science Gallery

Prof. Noah Finkelstein from the University of Colorado at Boulder will give a talk on 'Systemic Change in University STEM Education'' on March 16th at 2.30pm in the Science Gallery.

Noah's work is grounded in the reality that despite numerous calls (mainly in the US) for the transformation of undergraduate STEM education, there is still a lack of successful models for creating large-scale, systemic cultural changes in university STEM departments.

Considering the work of Irish universities to reform how we teach and learn in STEM programmes, this talk may be of interest to many. In his talk, Noah will focus on the following topics:

  • Theoretical models of change and how they apply to universities
  • Models for science teaching preparation programmes
  • Public engagement with STEM
  • Building a Centre for STEM Learning and/or building a national network of STEM education centres
  • Model practices of transformation (Science Education Initiative approach, Learning Assistant Program)

The talk will be at 2.30pm in the PACCAR Theatre in the Science Gallery.

Please contact Dr Shane Bergin ( should you require any further information

Women in Physics Networking Event

Thursday, 10 March at 6pm, Fitzgerald Library

We are pleased to announce that the second annual Women in Physics Networking Event – this year hosted jointly by the School of Physics and WITS (Women in Technology and Science), Ireland will take place this week, celebrating International Women's Week.

The event will take place on Thursday, 10 March at 6pm in the Fitzgerald Library. We encourage you all to attend. It is a great opportunity to get to know and network with students from years above or below, postgraduates and lecturers in the School of Physics and beyond.

There will be pizza and refreshments available on the evening, as well as a short talk about what WITS is and the importance of encouraging women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sectors. Please sign up with your name and email here: if you are interested in attending. This is set to be a big event and there is limited room in the Fitzgerald Library, so please sign up as soon as you know.

We really hope you take advantage of this opportunity to meet and get to know women in Physics and discover the importance of Women in STEM. To know students in the years above you and ask questions can be especially useful going forward in your academic career in Trinity. If you are in the higher years and considering PhD study, it would also be valuable to talk to some of the postgrads in an informal setting. Moreover, after the success of last year, we are hoping it to be a fun and stimulating networking event. We would also like to state that this is not a women-only event and men in the School of Physics are welcome to attend.

Nature’s Optics and Our Understanding of Light - 14 January 2016

Speaker: Prof Sir Michael Berry FRS, HH Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol
When: 16:00, Thursday, 14 January 2016
Where: Schrodinger Theatre

Abstract: Optical phenomena visible to everyone have been central to the development of, and abundantly illustrate, important concepts in science and mathematics. The phenomena considered include rainbows, sparkling reflections on water, green flashes, earthlight on the moon, glories, daylight, crystals, and the squint moon. The concepts include refraction, caustics (focal singularities of ray optics), wave interference, numerical experiments, mathematical asymptotics, dispersion, complex angular momentum (Regge poles), polarization singularities, Hamilton’s conical intersections of eigenvalues (‘Dirac points’), geometric phases, and visual illusions.

2015 Events

Nanotechnology Conference July 8th - 10th 2015

The Catalysis and Sensing for our Environment Symposium 2015 (CASE 2015) will be held in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) and in at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in Dublin, Ireland on the 9th and 10th of July 2015. This Symposium has become an important event in the scientific calendar and previous symposia have been held in: The University of Bath (UK, 2008); East China University of Science and Technology (China, 2009); The University of Birmingham (UK, 2011); Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC) (China, 2012); University of Texas at Austin (USA, 2013) and Xiamen University (China, 2014).

This year's symposia will be held in the vibrant city of Dublin, with a half-a-day pre-Symposium meeting on Supramolecular Chemistry being held on the afternoon of the 8th of July in Maynooth University (ca. 20 km drive from Dublin city center). This year's CASE Programme will bring together researchers from China, Ireland, UK and other countries in high profile and dynamic research areas. Professor Eric Anslyn (UTA, USA) and Professor Yun-Bao Jiang (Xiamen, China) have both confirmed that they will present plenary lectures at CASE 2015. This year also sees the first CASE Award Lectures, the winners presenting a plenary lecture as part of the symposium programme.

CASE 2015 is generously sponsored by the ISCP-China, an International Strategic Collaboration Programme. ISCP-China ( supports the development of new and existing joint research opportunities between Irish universities and partner organisations in China. ISCP-China is funded through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). ISCP-China a joint collaboration, led by Maynooth University with Dublin City University (DCU), the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), RCSI and TCD. Previously, ISCP-China has organized several meetings including the highly successful 2014 Ireland-China Symposium on Nanotechnology, held in TCD on the 12-14 May 2014. In addition, this CASE 2015 Symposium is supported by the TCD, RCSI and RSC as well as various local businesses.

More information about CASE 2015 and Registration can be found at the symposium website: More information about the half-day pre-Symposium meeting on Supramolecular Chemistry and Registration can be found at

Please note registration is essential.

Local Organising Committee: Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson (TCD); Aisling Hume (TCD); Donal O'Shea (RCSI); Robert Elmes (MU)

Masterclass for early career researchers: Why science needs more women

by Professor Margaret Murnane
11.00 am, Friday, 26 June 2015
Schrödinger Theatre, School of Physics
Trinity College Dublin

Tea/Coffee will be served at 10.30 am in the Fitzgerald Library

The event is free but you must register your attendance by reply email to Helen O’Halloran -

Professor Margaret Murnane, of the Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado and Fellow at JILA (, will be conferred with an honorary degree from Trinity College on Friday 26th June. Prior to the commencement ceremony there will be a networking event in the School of Physics and Professor Murnane will also provide a masterclass focussing on early career researchers. The networking event will take in the Fitzgerald Library at 10.30 a.m. and the masterclass will follow immediately.

Professor Murnane received both her B.S and M.S. degrees from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. She has been a member of the Faculty in the University of Colorado since 1999. Her primary research interests have been in ultrafast optical and x-ray science. Professor Murnane has received numerous awards and accolades throughout the course of her career. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America. In 1997 she was awarded the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society, in 2000 she was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow, in 2004 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2006 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Smart Grid and the Renewable Energy Transition: Evolution or Revolution?

by Jennie C. Stephens
Professor of Sustainability Science, University of Vermont
11.00 am, Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Schrödinger Theatre, School of Physics
Trinity College Dublin

Tea/Coffee will be served at 10.30 am in the Fitzgerald Library

Please register here for this event!

ABSTRACT: Energy systems are changing to enhance efficiency, to enable integration of more renewables, and to strengthen resilience and reliability. The term "smart grid" has become a catch-all phrase representing multiple innovations that are a critical part of societal transition toward more renewable-based energy systems. Innovation for this transition is motivated by growing concerns about many negative impacts associated with burning fossil fuels including climate change, human health risks, geopolitical insecurity, and economic instability. Beyond technical change, the renewable energy transition also involves deep social and cultural change in how individuals, households, communities, and organizations relate to, engage with, and influence energy systems. This presentation will explore multiple opportunities and challenges of smart grid and the renewable energy transition with a focus on different perspectives on the scale, scope, and rate of change.

BIO: Professor Jennie C. Stephens is a transdisciplinary scholar who focuses on understanding interconnections between technological change and social change related to energy, climate change, and sustainability. Her work on energy technology innovation, renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, smart grid, and climate change communication aims to facilitate social learning in the transition from fossil-fuel to renewables based energy systems. She also explores stakeholder engagement and communication among academics, practitioners, and the public. She is a 2015 Leopold Leadership fellow, and her book "Smart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Struggles" (Cambridge University Press, 2015) explores social and cultural debates surrounding energy system change (co-authored with Wilson and Peterson). Jennie is currently an Associate Professor and Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at the University of Vermont where she has a joint appointment in the Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources and the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. She was previously on the faculty at Clark University and did post-doctoral research at Harvard's Kennedy School. She earned her PhD and MS at the California Institute of Technology in Environmental Science & Engineering and her BA at Harvard University in Environmental Science & Public Policy.