Mathematics applied to energy, society and the environment with Graham Benham, UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics applied to energy, society and the environment with Graham Benham, UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics
Earth Institute coffee morning, Thursday 28 September 2023, 10.45am  |  Zoom and 4th floor kitchen, UCD Science East

For this week's coffee morning, we're joined by Graham Benham from the School of Mathematics and Statistics who will be talking about how mathematics can be applied to energy, society and the environment. 

"For some people mathematics might be associated with panic and boredom. In this coffee session I'll try to convince you just how useful and exciting mathematics can be using examples from my career, such as optimising performance at the Olympics and using river energy to power a pub."


Buildings End: An Ultimology Drafting Room

Buildings End
An Ultimology Drafting Room

Special event co-hosted by UCD Earth Institute.
xhibition and film screening introduced by Dr Ellen Rowley, Built Environment theme lead.

Tuesday 3 October, 11.30am - 12.45pm, Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square East, Dublin 2.

Dr Ellen Rowley is co-lead for the Built Environment theme at UCD Earth Institute and also part of the Department of Ultimology. This event may be of particular interest to theme and institute members, who are especially invited to attend, although the event is open to all. Dr Rowley will give an informal introduction to the exhibition at 11.30am and we’ll have tea and coffee. This will be followed by the Making Dust (2023) film screening at 12pm (45min). The exhibition space will be open afterwards. 

Register to attend here

About Buildings End 

Buildings End. But they do not expire. Their life cycle is not contingent on a ‘best-before’. Buildings are elastic and material. They can decompose. They are often forced to end. What do we do with ‘out of use’ and ‘out of time’ buildings that remain standing, in semi-occupation or fallow? How can we incorporate an awareness of the ‘architectural end of life’, right from the beginning? 

The Department of Ultimology is a practice for looking closely at endings. In this temporary drafting room at the Irish Architectural Archive, they take the subject of architecture that is at risk of demolition or degradation to create a space of attention for this phenomenon. ‘Drafting’ here refers to a practice of gathering material and preparing a rough sketch, and they use this term as a gesture towards the creation of a future publication.

Three categories of 'at risk' buildings are presented, which according to architectural historian Ellen Rowley, are too young or recent to be of historical significance, yet too old to be functional or relevant in the early 21st century. The buildings most susceptible to obsolescence in 2020s Ireland are office buildings from c.1950 to c.1980, (older-than-50 years) housing blocks, and large scale 1950s and 1960s Catholic churches. 

The drafting room will offer a closer look at one building in particular, the Church of the Annunciation, Finglas West, Dublin, built in 1967 and demolished in 2021. This church was the subject of Making Dust, a film by artist Fiona Hallinan that chronicles its demolition as part of a broader documented contemplation by Ellen Rowley of the socio-cultural and architectural obsolescence of this generation of Irish Catholic churches. 

Together, Hallinan, Rowley and Kate Strain, as the Department of Ultimology consider the cultural, social and political rupture that the church’s demolition represents. In the drafting room visitors will be presented with Hallinan's artwork framing collated fragments of Rowley’s research on architecture and ultimology, including case studies of buildings and material from the Irish Architectural Archive and other sources.

More information: 

Buildings End is an exhibition at the Irish Architectural Archive, 14 Sept. - 18 Oct. 2023; Daily Viewings at 12h00 of Making Dust (45-min, doc. film, dir. Fiona Hallinan, 2023) from 2 - 17 Oct. 2023.


COALESCE Information & Collaboration Event

12-1.30pm, Tuesday 10 October (room TBC and on Zoom), followed by lunch.

We are planning the workshop to run for approximately one hour but if we have lots of collaborator presentations, it may run to 1.30pm. 


The Irish Research Council will open the COALESCE funding programme on 28 September with an applicant deadline of 30 November.  

This is the fifth COALESCE call under a fund for research that addresses national and global societal challenges. COALESCE seeks to fund excellent research addressing national and European/global challenges as set out in the challenge frameworks now in place. The call is run in partnership with a number of Government departments and agencies, who fund specific strands.

COALESCE 2024 will consist of the following strands:

  • Strand 2A: Open call for interdisciplinary research addressing national or global societal challenges led by AHSS PI with STEM co-PI (max. €220,000 per award).
  • Strand 2B: Better World Awards, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs, whereby the lead PI will work with a co-PI in one of Irish Aid’s partner countries – ODA-eligible country on the African continent; any ODA-eligible Small Island Developing State (SIDS); Vietnam; Palestine; Laos; Cambodia; Myanmar (max. €350,000 per award).
  • Strand 1L: INSTAR+ awards, funded by the National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in partnership with the Heritage Council (max.€220,000 per award).

Strand 2A may be of particular interest to Institute members as it is an open call aimed at stimulating interdisciplinary partnerships led by an Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences principal investigator with a co-investigator from Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. 


Our event will provide information on the call, insights from past awardees, followed by an OPTIONAL session facilitating collaborations for Strand 2A in particular. 

12:00pm Welcome 

12:05pm Introduction to COALESCE scheme, strand 2A in particular (Caitriona Devery) 

12:10pm Research Office perspective, supports and processes (Meadhbh O’Halloran) 

12:15pm Insights from previous awardees: 3 projects (5 minutes each) 

  • Karen Keaveney (Agriculture and Food Science)-  Citizen Rural: Digital Data for Participatory Democracy in Remote Places
  • Sam Kelley (Earth Sciences) - Looking Up: future of early prehistoric heritage in Europe’s mountains.
  • Michael Lennon (Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy) - Green Space Engage
  • Open Q&A with past awardees (10 mins)

12:40pm Brokerage section with pre-submitted slides: attendees interested in finding collaborators for Strand 2A present 1 minute each on their expertise/interests, 1 slide max.

1:20pm Any final comments / questions 

1:30pm Wrap up - lunch (may finish sooner)

To register, please complete this Google form before Thursday 5 October.  

Note on brokerage section: If you wish to take part in the brokerage/collaboration section, please send a (single) slide with your interests to Caitriona Devery by 10am on Monday 9 October. We will prepare a slide deck and participants will be invited to present in turn whether online or in person. If you would like to speak without a slide that’s fine, please indicate this on the registration form.  

Co-hosted with UCD Geary Institute, UCD Centre for Sustainable Development Studies & UCD Humanities Institute