World Expert in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Joins University College Dublin

-      Science Foundation Ireland awards €6 million in funding to increase Ireland’s capability as a global centre for micro/nano manufacturing

University College Dublin (UCD) has today announced the appointment of Professor Fengzhou Fang, a world renowned expert in advanced manufacturing research and innovation, to UCD’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

Professor Fang will lead a cutting edge research programme in UCD, through an investment of €6 million under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Professorship Programme, increasing Ireland’s capability as a global centre for micro/nano manufacturing technologies.

Professor Fang’s current research addresses ultra-precision machining of complex surfaces, at micro and nanometre scales and in soft and hard materials. These surfaces are used in the global, multi-trillion euro medical devices industry. His UCD research programme could lead to key technical breakthroughs to enhance the processing efficiencies in manufacturing such complex surfaces.

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Pictured at University College Dublin is Professor Fengzhou Fang

Welcoming Professor Fang to the University, Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President, UCD said, University College Dublin has prioritised research focusing on manufacturing for the medical devices industry within our research strategy, as a natural complement to our existing strengths in Engineering and Materials Science. The appointment of Professor Fang will further strengthen UCD’s portfolio in this area, which is now a crucial and vibrant part of the Irish economy. Furthermore, Professor Fang’s research programme, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, will provide a pipeline of PhD qualified engineers for Ireland’s medical devices industry.”

Professor Fengzhou Fang said, “Not only was my decision to come to Ireland based on the excellent research carried out at University College Dublin, but also on the opportunity to build a strong bridge between academia and industry in manufacturing. I am delighted to join the team within UCD’s College of Engineering and Architecture which has great ambitions in the area of micro/nano manufacturing technology. 

Professor Fang, regarded as one of the world’s pioneers in developing nanomanufacturing, has an impressive track record of combining leading academic research with successful commercialisation of the resulting intellectual property.

He has written numerous highly-cited papers that are fundamental to the development of ultra-precision machining, micro/nano manufacturing and optical freeform manufacturing. He has successfully collaborated with industry partners on over 100 projects, holds more than 60 patents and has established two companies. 

He is the recipient of the prestigious Albert M. Sargent Prize from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Nanomanufacturing, is the Founding President of the International Society for Nanomanufacturing and is a Council Member of the International Academy for Production Engineering.

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Pictured outside the UCD Engineering and Materials Science Centre are Prof. Michael Gilchrist, Head, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Prof. Fengzhou Fang

Announcing the award and welcoming the appointment, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said, The appointment of Professor Fang epitomises Science Foundation Ireland’s commitment to strengthening Ireland’s international reputation for high quality engineering and manufacturing research. Professor Fang has an exceptional international record in both academic publications and industrial collaborations. His expertise will enhance the engineering community in UCD and Ireland, improve Ireland’s appeal as a destination of choice for world-class researchers and industrial collaborations and strengthen the industrial manufacturing base in Ireland.”

The SFI Research Professorship Programme, in partnership with Irish universities, aims to attract outstanding research talent to Ireland. The recruitment of iconic scientists and engineers will build the national research base and enhance Ireland’s international reputation as a center of excellence for research.

Professor Fang comes to UCD from Tianjin University (TJU), China. His appointment consolidates a recent MoA (Memorandum of Agreement) between both universities which will see a strengthening of the collaboration between TJU’s Centre of MicroNano Manufacturing Technologies (MNMT) and UCD’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

The MNMT Centre, a leading research organisation established by Professor Fang, focuses on micro/nano material removal mechanisms, new process approaches and applications in advanced optical systems and bio-medical devices.


4 October 2016

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications Manager (Innovation), University College Dublin, e:, t: + 353 1 716 3712 or Alva O’Cleirigh, PR and Communications Manager, Science Foundation Ireland,e:alva.ocleirigh@sfi.ieor t: +353 1 607 3249.

Editors Notes

Established in 1854, University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland’s largest university with over 30,000 students from some 120 countries worldwide. Founded on the educational principles of its first Rector, John Henry Newman, the university seeks to contribute to the economy and society through the excellence and impact of its research, innovation and scholarship, the quality of its graduates and through its engagement nationally and internationally.  

UCD’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering is the largest of its kind in Ireland and a world player in both research and education offering the widest range of both research-based and taught postgraduate programmes. 

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research.  SFI invests in academic researchers and research teams who are most likely to generate new knowledge, leading edge technologies and competitive enterprises in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The SFI Research Professorship Programme is intended to support national strategic priorities by assisting research bodies in the recruitment of world-leading researchers for Professorial Chairs, or similar research leadership positions in targeted scientific areas in all areas covered by SFI’s legal remit. The programme may also act as a mechanism to support the recruitment of individuals who possess a strong industry background, as well as for directorship roles in established research centres within eligible research bodies in Ireland.