Fulbright Irish Awards: Two UCD Biosystems & Food scholars selected for coveted transatlantic prize



Two of the College of Engineering & Architecture's brightest scholars have been awarded coveted research and teaching roles at some of America’s universities and institutions.

They are among 36 recipients of this year’s Fulbright Irish Awards, which presents students, scholars and professionals in Ireland the opportunity to undertake postgraduate study, research and teaching in the United States.

The 2020 UCD awardees are from disciplines spanning medicine, food engineering, zoology and the arts.

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon TD said: “The role of Fulbright Awardees in driving international research and keeping global channels of communications open is more important than ever.

“Fulbright has always propelled collaboration between the brightest minds.”

US Ambassador to Ireland Edward F Crawford said the Fulbright program played a crucial role in strengthening “the unique relationship shared by the United States and Ireland”.

“The durability of Fulbright is especially important during these challenging times,” he added.

The UCD College of Engineering & Architecture's recipients for the 2020 Fulbright Irish Awards are:

Dr David Kelleghan: Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Iowa State University

Dr David Kelleghan is an occasional lecturer and researcher within the UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering. He is an Irish section committee member of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management, and his PhD was ranked in the top 10 projects for research impact in UCD in 2019.

His work focuses on monitoring and modelling environmental impacts of atmospheric ammonia from agriculture.

As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Dr Kelleghan will visit Iowa State University to further develop ammonia sensors used there. The primary goal of his scholarship will be to enhance low cost ammonia sensors suitable for deployment in both Ireland and Europe.

Improving both the ease of use, and accessibility to such low-cost sensors will enhance the level of monitoring conducted across Europe. This will subsequently improve both the accuracy of atmospheric dispersion modelling and environmental assessments.

Dr Fionnuala Murphy: Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Earth Research Institute at the University of California

Dr Fionnuala Murphy is an Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Biosystems & Food Engineering. Her national and EU funded research work focuses on understanding, quantifying and analysing complex environmental exchanges across the life cycle of products, processes and systems and, reciprocally, using this knowledge to better design bio and circular economies according to engineering principles.

As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Dr Murphy will join the Earth Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2021.

Her collaborative work will focus on development of a real-time life cycle assessment system for the assessment of the environmental impacts of seaweed cultivation to enable its optimal use in the bioeconomy for the benefit of the environment and society.

Upon returning to Ireland, Dr. Murphy will further develop this tool to enable the sustainable use of bio-resources with a global perspective.