Imelda Doolan




The University of Limerick (UL) with over 13,000 students and 1,300 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. As one of Irelands "youngest" universities, UL is recognised for its pioneering initiatives, which reinforce its reputation as one of the most progressive and innovative institutions. The success of this approach has recently been recognised, and UL has been awarded "University of the Year for 2015", by the Sunday Times Good University guide.

The UL research strategy is ambitious and focused on ground breaking research. Nothing highlights this ambition better than the instigation of the Bernal Project, which is a €52 million strategic investment by the university. This project builds on UL’s existing foundations of research excellence in science and engineering, and aims to attract world class researchers, provide advanced infrastructure and additional resources. The project will enhance research outputs and will have an impact on economic, educational and social development nationally and globally. It is unique in Ireland in terms of its scale and ambition.

Participation in EU Projects and International Activities

UL hosts the (€15 million) Irish National Centre for Composites research (ICOMP) ICOMPs mission is to provide innovative solutions to industry and accelerate growth of the Irish composites sector. This is the national centre for composite research and services amongst others the automotive and transport sectors.

Currently ICOMP has 22 industrial and academic members. Major areas of interest include adhesion and surface engineering, damage and repair of composites, processing of thermoplastic composites and liquid resin and infusion processes. ICOMP is involved in multiple national and international projects with heavy industry engagement. ICOMP coordinates the €7 million, EU-H2020 project "Libre" (just awarded under the JU BBI-2015). Libre will look at new sources and novel methods of carbon fibre production, with the aims of lowering the cost and increasing the functionality of carbon fibre composites, for the transportation and energy sectors.

The Bernal Institutes, Nanotechnology Research Group, conduct’s research in the area of Semiconductor Nanocrystals and Nanowires with an emphasis on Synthesis, Assembly and Device Applications in Energy Storage and Energy Conversion. The group also studies nucleation and growth in both hard (metal, semiconductor) and soft nanocrystal materials with emphasis on size, shape and crystal phase control. This particular expertise was used in the development of novel nanostructured materials for energy storage devices. UL was (finished-2016) involved in the €5 Million, EU project Green Lion. Which aimed to develop new materials for automotive battery applications- partners included Seat and Volkswagen.

One of Ireland’s largest business schools is located in Limerick (The Kemmy business school "KBS"). The KBS has extremely close working relationships with large financial institutions, particularly the insurance sector. Automotive research in the KBS is focused around risk, risk compliance and risk transfer based on financial/insurance modelling. The KBS are involved in 2 EU automotive projects currently (H2020). (1) The Vision inspired Driver Assistance System project (VIDAS), which looks at intelligent transport systems, driver behaviour and risk quantification and is in conjunction with partners such as Honda, IBM and TomTom. (2) The Cloud Large Scale Video Analysis Project (Cloud-LSVA), which deals with software and analysis of data from video and driver Assistance systems, again it counts companies such as IBM, TomTom, Intel and Valeo as partners.

UL has a strong focus on fuels and fuel development, holding several national grants in this area. UL coordinated the EU FP7 Project Dibanet. This focused on biofuel additives to Diesel engines, by advancing the development of Ethyl Levulinate (a novel diesel miscible biofuel).

UL also hosts the Irish Centre for Software Research (LERO). Lero is a €75 million national centre. It counts companies such as Toyota, Dell and Microsoft as partners. Lero’s research focus is on Evolving Critical Systems (ECS). These systems change over time, are strategically important to their users or owners and are often significantly, although not necessarily exclusively, software intensive. ECS increasingly characterises a large proportion of software systems in development and use today, from safety-critical systems (such as an automotive braking control system), to product critical systems (such as the core modules of a large software product). Lero is involved in many National, International and industry lead projects for example the EU funded ASCENS project. Which worked on methods, languages and tools for self-aware assembles and used E-Vehicles as a demonstrator platform for these developed tools.

The Enterprise research Centre (ERC) at UL Conducts research relating to modelling and optimization of industrial Systems and looks as cost simulation and supply chain issues. The ERC has conducted project’s relating to Irish road transport systems, on the potential of software savings for road transportation