Kinsella Challenge-Based E3 awards go to four multi-disciplinary projects

Four innovative multi-disciplinary research projects at Trinity College Dublin will share a total of €2 million in funding in the inaugural Kinsella Challenge-Based E3 Multi-Disciplinary Project Awards.

The awards are made possible through the generous philanthropic support of Eric and Barbara Kinsella. Mr Kinsella is Executive Chairman of Jones Engineering Group, a Trinity engineering graduate and a long-time benefactor of Trinity who, with his wife, recently donated €30 million to the Trinity East project, the largest individual philanthropic donation to an Irish university in the history of the state.

The awards strive to foster excellent and innovative cross-disciplinary research that is inspired by the E3 global challenges or perspectives.

The researchers leading the projects supported by the Kinsella Challenge-Based E3 awards, pictured from left to right: Professor Vinny Cahill (Computer Science), Professor Jane Stout (Botany), Dr David O’Connell (Engineering) and Professor Ian Donohue (Zoology).
The researchers leading the projects supported by the Kinsella Challenge-Based E3 awards, pictured from left to right: Professor Vinny Cahill (Computer Science), Professor Jane Stout (Botany), Dr David O’Connell (Engineering) and Professor Ian Donohue (Zoology).

The successful projects, each of which will receive €500,000, are as follows:

SUMMIT-Sustainable Mobility Models for a Just Transition

Led by Professor Vinny Cahill (Computer Science), this project rethinks models of mobility with a view to achieving universal and equitable access to a sustainable transportation system. It will explore options from a variety of perspectives – computer science, engineering, geography, business, economics and psychology.

Digitising Biodiversity: Landscape-Animal-Digital-Human Translations

Led by Professor Ian Donohue (Zoology), this project aims to develop a smart environmental monitoring system that will bring about a revolution in biodiversity quantification in real time.  It will address the connected challenge of addressing explicitly what is lost and gained through digital translation from animal to human understanding.

FOREST: Reimagining relations with nature

This proposal will explore the social-cultural-economic-financial, technical and ecological implications of extending Ireland’s forest network with native species, from a multi-disciplinary lens. Led by Professor Jane Stout (Botany), the project will access afforestation project sites in Birr, Co Offaly and Kilmacanague, Co Wicklow.

Diffuse Water Pollution: Nutrient capture Recovery and re Cycling systems (NuReCycle)

Dr David O’Connell (Engineering) leads this project to explore scientific, biological and engineering interventions to reduce agricultural run-off and protect the water quality of associated aquatic ecosystems. It will furthermore demonstrate how it can be controlled through nutrient control, recovery and recycling concepts.

Trinity’s Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast said

“Global challenges are complex by their nature and we are tremendously excited that these awards allow us to bolster our capacity for multidisciplinary research. These diverse proposals all address major world problems from a multiplicity of perspectives. In many cases, E3 researchers will be working with colleagues from other disciplines for the first time ever, joined on a common cause.  We are grateful for the generosity of Eric and Barbara Kinsella in backing these innovative projects.”

Eric Kinsella said:

“Barbara and I are proud and delighted to support the Kinsella Challenge-Based E3 Multi-Disciplinary Project Awards. It is an honour to enable some of Ireland’s brightest minds to work together, across disciplines. We look forward to seeing the outcomes that such diverse research will have on areas so critical to the future of our world. They are all at the core of the E3 project, which we are delighted to support and which strives to overcome global challenges with research and innovation.”