At the 1st John Fitzpatrick Memorial Lecture, TCD Provost Patrick Prendergast launched the
John Fitzpatrick Memorial Medal
to be awarded annually to the best MAI Engineering student.
The Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast launched the Fitzpatrick Memorial Medal at the lecture which was designed by Professor David Taylor and Mr Gerard Byrne, School of Engineering, both colleagues of John's. The medal will be awarded annually to the best Engineering student in the newly established 5-year MAI programme.
Professor John Fitzpatrick, FTCD, MRIA was Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Trinity from 1994-2012. He was originally appointed as lecturer in 1980 in a newly formed department. In this time he established a world class reputation for teaching and research in engineering in Trinity. John's research was focussed on flow induced vibrations and attendant noise. This work dated back to his PhD studies in Queen's University Belfast where he examined flow dynamics in heat exchanger arrays. His interest in the acoustics of these structures led to inquiring, life-long studies of the fundamental mechanisms of noise generation from turbulence and its application to jet engines.
The medal's design reflects some aspect of John's work and interests, especially his lifelong fascination with physical phenomena such as fluid flow and noise generation, research which is still being carried on in our department. It is loosely based on the results of an experiment to demonstrate turbulent flow, but rendered in a rather abstract fashion so that it can be interpreted in different ways, as some type of natural phenomenon in the process of being recorded and studied. There's a sense of the classic Celtic spiral form too, recalling John's pride in his Irish heritage.