12 of 38 Fulbright Awards go to UCD students, scholars and professionals

Posted June 13, 2017

‌The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD has announced 38 new Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2017-2018. Twelve of these awards go to students, scholars and professionals from University College Dublin (UCD).

Jointly funded by the Irish and US governments under the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange, the Fulbright Awards provide Irish and US students, scholars and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture and research at leading universities and institutions in the US and Ireland respectively. They were first established in 1957.


UCD Awardees (l-r): Dr Aggeliki Georgiopoulou, Dr Charlotte Blease, Mr Jamie McGarrigle, Ms Katherine Nolan, Ms Ciara Ní É, Mr Matthew Flood, Mr Tomás O’Ceallaigh, Dr Elizabeth Shotton, Dr David Lillis, Dr Tom Curran and Ms Giollaíosa Ní Mhaonaigh (Lorcán Burns is absent from photograph)

“This year’s 38 Irish awardees come from varying academic and professional disciplines, from the liberal arts – including Irish language studies – to science, technology, engineering and maths,” said Minister Flanagan.

“These awards underline the breadth and depth of the Fulbright Commission’s work, covering 34 institutions in 18 states and Washington, DC.”

The successful candidates have shown how their work can positively impact on society. On top of their studies or research, awardees are tasked with being cultural ambassadors during their time in the US. When they come back to Ireland, they are expected to share the knowledge they gained while in the US.

“We are proud to have such bright minds embarking on educational and cultural exchanges to the US, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their studies and research when they return to Ireland,” said Reece Smyth, chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Ireland.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Ireland.

“It’s great to see the quality of students and scholars that [the program] still attracts. Their opportunity is huge but so is their responsibility to continue Senator Fulbright’s all too relevant vision of advancing cross-cultural understanding. I know they are fully up to the challenge,” said Dr Dara FitzGerald, director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland.

The Fulbright Awards are presented on an annual basis to Irish students, scholars and professionals to undertake postgraduate study and research at higher education, cultural and related institutions in the United States. 

The UCD recipients of Irish Fulbright Awards 2017-2018 are: 

  • Dr Charlotte Blease, a philosopher of medicine and Research Fellow at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and University College Dublin (UCD). She researches the science behind the art of medicine. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, she will travel to the Program in Placebo Studies, hosted at Harvard Medical School

  • Mr Lorcán Burns is currently completing a PGCE at St Mary’s University College Belfast. He has a BA in Irish from University of Ulster, and an MA in Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge from UCD. As a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) he will teach the Irish language and take courses at NYU and Drew University.

  • Dr Tom Curran, a lecturer in the UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering and Director of the MSc Environmental Technology Programme at University College Dublin. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, he will be hosted by North Carolina State University to develop an early warning system for sewer network blockages caused by 'fatbergs'. Dr Curran has developed a European wide reputation as a specialist in 'fatbergs' and has made frequent media contributions on this issue

  • Mr Matthew Flood is a PhD candidate at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Dublin and the UCD School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. He also holds an ME in Biomedical Engineering from UCD. As a Fulbright-NUI Visiting Researcher to the Motion Analysis Laboratory at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Matthew will employ advanced signal processing methods to investigate motor control in individuals with Parkinson’s disease using wireless sensing technology

  • Dr Aggeliki Georgiopoulou, a lecturer in Sedimentology at University College Dublin. As a Fulbright-GSI Geoscience Scholar, Aggeliki will visit the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Massachusetts to investigate in detail the structures, morphology and lithologies of submarine landslide scars using diving equipment video data and Structure-for-Motion Techniques

  • Dr David Lillis, an assistant professor in the UCD School of Computer Science. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, David will visit the University of New Haven Cyber Forensics Research & Education Group (UNHcFREG) in West Haven, Connecticut. There he will focus on efficient automated techniques for discovering digital evidence, with a view to expediting the process of cybercrime investigation

  • Mr Jamie Mc Garrigle completed a BA in Modern Irish and Music at University College Dublin. He was then awarded a scholarship to the graduate studies programme in Irish Writing and Communications at University College Dublin. He is currently completing a Professional Masters in Education through Irish and undertaking research on 'The Use and Effects of Music in Language Acquisition' at NUI Galway. He has been working as a secondary school teacher of Irish and Music as part of this course. As a Fulbright FLTA, he will teach the Irish language and take courses at Davidson College

  • Ms Ciara Ní É completed a BA in Modern Irish and English at TCD, and an MA in Irish at University College Dublin where she was a tutor. Ciara is a writer and also works as an editor, teacher, and broadcaster. As a Fulbright FLTA, she will teach the Irish Language and take courses at Villanova University

  • Ms Giollaíosa Ní Mhaonaigh graduated from University College Dublin with a BA in Modern Irish and History. She went on to complete an Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas in NUIG. She will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant to the University of Montana

  • Ms Katherine Nolan completed a Bachelor of Business and Law at University College Dublin, a Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford, and is a qualified Irish solicitor. As a Fulbright Student Awardee, Katherine will complete an LLM at the University of California, Berkeley, where she intends to focus on the comparative regulation of technology issues, in particular information privacy law

  • Mr Tomás Ó Ceallaigh is currently completing a masters in Nua-Ghaeilge at University College Dublin. He taught Irish at the UBO University in Brest in France, and prior to that he worked as a journalist and television producer with the Irish national broadcaster, RTÉ. Tomás has a keen interest in Irish-language songs and is an avid user of these as a teaching aid in the classroom. As a Fulbright FLTA will teach the Irish language and take courses at Idaho State University

  • Dr Elizabeth Shotton is director of research, innovation and impact in the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy. She teaches in construction technology and design studio, with an emphasis on sustainable building and development. Her research is in the field of construction history and she is currently working on an Irish Research Council funded project Minor Harbours, which examines the evolution of maritime engineering in small harbours in Ireland from the 17th century to the present. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, Elizabeth will work with the Digital Humanities group of the UCLA Cotsen Institute to develop strategies to digitally visualize these harbours

By: Dominic Martella, UCD University Relations