Competition Showcases How PhD Research Can Enable National Recovery

Six Trinity College Dublin students were shortlisted from almost 70 submissions for the final of the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA) Future Voices competition, which took place recently in Dublin Castle.  The final of the competition featured ten PhD students who presented their research to a multidisciplinary audience, highlighting the potential impact it could have on national recovery.

Trinity College researcher Aidan Quilligan of the School of Engineering took the runner-up prize for his research into the ‘Feasibility of Concrete Wind Turbine Towers’ presented by Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn.  Aidan’s research looks at sustainable energy and highlights how concrete could prove more durable than steel in the construction of wind turbine towers.  The overall winner was NUI Maynooth student Ciaran O’Carroll for his research presentation titled, ‘Crustaceans: What Have They Done for Us Lately?’  Following the presentations there was a lively poster session where the finalists could demonstrate how their research could enable national recovery.

The assessment panel was chaired by Baroness Nuala O’Loan DBE and included Tom Boland of the Higher Education Authority, Aebhric McGibney of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Peter Finnegan of Dublin City Council.  Applications were assessed on the quality of the abstract and poster, the relevance to the theme of national recovery, the potential impact of the research on national recovery and the originality of the submission.  The winner received a cheque for €500 and an Apple iPAD and the runner-up received an Apple iPAD.  

The DRHEA Future Voices competition aims to showcase the research of the PhD students in the Dublin region and reposition Dublin as an international centre for graduate education.  Partner institutions include Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Dublin Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Tallaght.  It is funded by the Higher Education Authority’s Strategic Innovation Fund.