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Carthy Travel Award

Mark Carthy, a UCD Chemical Engineering Graduate from the Class of 1982, and now Managing Partner, Orion Healthcare Equity Partners, Boston, USA, has supported the Graduate Research Project Award, awarded each year, since 2008, to the graduating student(s) ranking highest in the Final Year Research Projects. Since 2013, Mark has also funded travel awards for undergraduate students. For students who may have a personal project, non-standard internship or social or altruistic venture that they could not pursue because of the lack of some financial aid, Mark offers to support the travel costs associated with the venture.

The award is intended for students who wish to achieve a personal goal which may or may not be directly linked to Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering but would contribute to a broadening of a student’s individual development. The Travel Awards are intended to be used to cover travel expenses to locations “beyond the range of an easy budget airline” and the amount will be €1000.  All Chemical and Bioprocess students Stages 2 to 4 are eligible to apply.

William Zitzmann receiving Carthy Travel award 2023

UCD Engineering Graduates Association, EGA Gold Medal & Award Ceremony 2023. Carthy Travel Award presented by Dr Jessica Whelan, Head Of School, Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering to William Zitzmann.

Carthy Travel Report 2023 William Zitzmann

UCD Engineering Graduates Association, EGA Gold Medal & Award Ceremony 2022. Carthy Travel Award presented by Dr Jessica Whelan, Head Of School, Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering to Cathal Nulty

UCD Engineering Graduates Association, EGA Gold Medal & Award Ceremony 2022. Carthy Travel Award presented by Dr Jessica Whelan, Head Of School, Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering to Cathal Nulty

Carthy Travel Report 2022 Cathal Nulty.pdf


Claire Riordan, recipient of the Carthy Travel Award 2019, 

Claire Riordan applied for the Carthy Travel Award in order to support the completion of her Master’s research project at the University of Maryland.  This three month trip provided Claire with the opportunity to complete her research in a lab with state of the art facilities and a strong research track record as well as to expand her professional network and experience living abroad.  Her research involved the novel application of dual-labelled isotopes for the elucidation of E. coli’s metabolic network for fluxnomic analysis.  Claire also used her time to work with Engineers Without Borders to develop a handwashing station intended for use in Sierra Leone, in addition to taking part in dance classes and campus life.

In Claire’s words “Working and learning at UMD, although intellectually and emotionally challenging, proved to be a worthwhile endeavour which broadened and deepened my engineering knowledge and improved my technical skills. I forged new academic and professional connections, helping to deepen my understanding of the chemical engineering fields and industry. This experience also expanded my world view and helped me to mature far away from my support network of family and friends. Looking back, my time at the University of Maryland was an amazing experience that spurred my academic, professional, and personal growth.”

Alexander Buckley (Stage 3 student 2017-18), recipient of the Carthy Travel Award 2018, pictured with the award benefactor, Mark Carthy (UCD BE 1982).

Alexander Buckley (Stage 3 student 2017-18), recipient of the Carthy Travel Award 2018, pictured with the award benefactor, Mark Carthy (UCD BE 1982).

With the support of the Carthy Travel Award 2018 and while interning at Pfizer HQ in Manhattan, Alexander Buckley met, shadowed and interviewed a number of professionals in several industries, ranging from Law to medical device innovation and entrepreneurship – at some of the most prestigious R&D laboratories and investment funds in the world. To share what he had learnt from these people (including 3 UCD Chemical Engineering graduates: Maeve Coburn (BE 1985), Senior VP & Head of Learning for Transformation at L'Oreal in Manhattan; Dan Carroll (BE 1989), Hedge Fund Analyst with Proxima Capital; Mark Carthy (BE 1982), Founder & Senior Partner at Orion Healthcare Equity Partners and Founder & CEO at AnTolRx and Travel Award benefactor), Alexander developed a web-based podcast series, calls GradPods. He has published recordings of his conversations online. In addition to his work on GradPods and as part of his Travel Award activities, Alexander visited JLabs, the Johnson & Johnson R&D facilities, in both Toronto and New York, meeting with CEOs of some of the leading start-up companies in their fields.

In Alexander's words: "The Carthy Travel Award genuinely offered me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m certain this experience will count hugely in my favour in my future professional endeavours. The trip and the people I have spoken to throughout the course of the initiative allowed me additional industry insights. As most of the interviewees were engineering graduates, many of whom studied at UCD, this allowed me to see the diverse range of career paths that are available to me as a graduate from the School, as well as gaining meaningful career advice from those who were once in a similar situation to myself. I cannot describe how grateful I am to Mr. Carthy and all of those in the School who made this experience possible. I would highly recommend to students in the following years to apply for the Award and to extract as much out of it as I - and preceding recipients -have.";

Alexander Buckley's Report on the Carthy Travel Award 2018

Pictured: Edwin Henry, Stage 4 student 2017-18, winner of the Carthy Travel Award, shown here with Prof. Eoin Casey, Head of School, who presented the Award on behalf of sponsor, Mark Carthy (UCD BE ChemE 1982)

Edwin Henry applied for a Carthy Travel Award, to allow him to travel to China during Summer 2017, to undertake an IAESTE Traineeship there with Wanhua, a Chinese chemical company, with subsidiaries in Europe and the US. Edwin had spent the 2016-17 academic year in an industrial placement with Helsinn Birex, based at the pharmaceutical company’s oral dose facility in Dublin. Between June and September 2017, he was based in Yantai, North East China.

“The main business of Wanhua is the research & development, production and sales of polyurethane-series products, which are the base materials in a wide range of products including insulation, paints and mobile components. During my time at Wanhua, I was based in the Global Operations Centre (GOC), primarily in the Technical Support Group, where my title was Process Engineer Intern. As this internship was organised through IAESTE, cultural exchange was an important part of my role and I was given the opportunity to work directly with all departments within the GOC, including Technical, Quality, Supply Chain and Energy.

Coming to China to live and work was a very rewarding experience for me, both professionally and personally. Working in a Chinese petro-chemical company, I have broadened my chemical engineering knowledge and came to recognise and appreciate both the similarities and differences between working environments in Ireland and China. For someone who has only ever lived in Ireland, spending 3 months in China was truly a life-changing experience. I met interesting people from all over the world. I was fortunate to be able to travel in China. I would like to sincerely thank Mark Carthy for the Travel Award which made this experience possible. Thank you!”

Stephen Jones, Carthy Travel Award Winner, with his parents and Mr PJ Rudden, President, UCD Engineering Graduates' Association.

Pictured: William Denning & Mother Carthy Travel Award Winner

Amy O'Keeffe Carthy Travel Award recipient 2015, with Dr. Patricia Kieran, UCD School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering.

I am very grateful to have received the Carthy Travel Award 2015. This bursary allowed me to participate in the 2nd SAE Summer Academy on Energy (SAE2) in Budapest, in August 2015, joining undergraduate and MSc students from all over the world, to learn about energy generation and distribution, energy economics and associated environmental and sustainability issues. One of the most rewarding aspects of the Summer Academy was working, as part of a cross-disciplinary, international team on a week-long project, designing a sustainable electric power system for a fictional country.

Seán McLoughlin

Ireland has recently seen a dramatic growth in the alcoholic beverage sector. As a Chemical Engineer - and a native of Dundalk, which has a long, proud history of brewing and distilling - I have both a professional and personal interest in brewing technology and commercialisation. The Carthy Travel Award 2014 allowed me to gain first-hand experience of an award-winning craft brewery in the UK. In Summer 2015 I spent a week at the Redemption Brewing Company in Tottenham, London. I assisted with production and process optimisation as well as  vessel, pump and pipework inspections. On the commercial side, I got a direct insight into the development of a craft brewery and the challenges facing a start-up company in this competitive, but exciting sector. The Carthy Travel Award made this possible for me.

Aoife Ledwidge O'Brien (Centre) during her Carthy Travel Award Trip to Peru

In January of 2013 I applied for the Mark Carthy Travel Award. My proposal was to travel to the Cusco Region of Peru and carry out the Salcantay Trek. This 5 day trek would take me to a height of 4630m in the shadow of the sacred Salcantay Mountain which stands snow-capped all year round at 6264m. I was successful in receiving the award which went on to cover my flights & the cost of the trek in summer 2014 just before I returned to UCD. 

Darragh Waters

Based around 50 miles west of Anchorage I worked for a small oil and gas company called Cook Inlet Energy, a subsidiary of Miller Energy Resources.
Cook Inlet Energy had an office in Downtown Anchorage and most of the other operations were based in the Cook Inlet. I spent 3 weeks in Downtown office location and 10 weeks on site facilities.

Downtown Office Work consisted of, Attending Meetings both internal and externally. Get prices on equipment by calling/ emailing vendors, Write computer programs (Macro’s) to increase the efficiency and productivity of the office Filing and preparing copies of agenda for large meetings.

Kustatan Production Facility

The KPF facility is based about 7 miles from the west McArthur Facility and is a state of the art, fully automated, crude & natural gas processing facility. 
The 10-year old plant is the newest & most energy efficient processing facility in the Cook Inlet. It processes raw crude oil & gas pumped from below ground/or off-shore, heats the crude oil, separates oil/NG/water, cleans the water before it is pumped back into ground and dries the gas before being transferred to the Enstar gas line.
The facility produces all its own energy from a NG fired power plant with capacity for approx. 15-18MW of electric and a large tank farm with storage capacity for 50k barrels of oil and supplies electric power to Osprey and West Mac.
Working conditions are highly regulated by state govt. and worker safety is absolutely no. 1. As is the handling/disposal of all materials in such a pristine natural environment that is infested with bears, wolves, eagles, Beluga whales to name but a few.