UCD Professor John Walsh awarded William Smith Medal by Geological Society of London

Posted June 08, 2017

John Walsh, Professor of Structural Geology in the UCD School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin and Director of the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG), has been awarded the William Smith Medal by the Geological Society of London.

The award is given for international excellence in contributions to applied and economic aspects of geoscience.

Professor Walsh’s research has investigated the long- and short-term (i.e. earthquake) growth of fault systems, the impact of faults on fluid-flow on a range of scales (e.g. basin to mineral deposit), and the definition of new analytical and modelling techniques for a range of fault-related technical issues.

In 1995, he founded the Fault Analysis Group with Professor Juan Watterson in the University of Liverpool. In 1996, he was appointed director of the group. Four years later, together with Professors Conrad Childs and Tom Manzocchi, he oversaw the relocation of the group to University College Dublin.

For more than 30 years, the internationally renowned research group has carried out basic scientific research on all aspects of faults and other types of fracture and has then applied these results to practical problems, principally in the groundwater, hazards, hydrocarbon and mineral industries.

“The award is a huge endorsement of the work of our group, the Fault Analysis Group, over the years. I would like to thank all of my colleagues who have been central to the success of our research, in particular Conrad Childs, Tom Manzocchi, Andy Nicol, and the late Juan Watterson,” said Professor Walsh.

“I look forward to continuing our research on the many and varied aspects of faults and fractures, work which has sustained us for so long, both as members of the Fault Analysis Group and, more recently, as members of iCRAG.”

Pictured: Professor John Walsh (left) receives the William Smith Medal from
the President of the Geological Society of London, Malcolm Brown.

Congratulating Professor John Walsh on his award, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said, “I am delighted to see one of Ireland’s leading scientists, and Director of the world-leading SFI Research Centre iCRAG, recognised for his outstanding research over many years.”

“I look forward to Professor Walsh continuing his ground-breaking research on 3D modelling of the earth’s subsurface and the supply of natural resources.”

“This award recognises the truly global excellence of Professor Walsh's research in applied geoscience. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of his dedication and commitment to scientific research for the past 30 years," said the President of University College Dublin, Professor Andrew Deeks.

Founded in 1807, the Geological Society of London is the oldest geological society in the world. Today, it is a world-leading communicator of Earth science – through its scholarly publishing, library and information services, cutting-edge scientific conferences, education activities and outreach to the general public. It also provides impartial scientific information and evidence to support policy-making and public debate about the challenges facing humanity.

iCRAG is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations