UCD Professor and NexSys Director Receives 2022 SFI Industry Partnership Award

Professor Andrew Keane, recipient of the 2022 SFI Industry Partnership Award. (Credit: Alan Place Photography).

UCD Professor and NexSys Director Receives 2022 SFI Industry Partnership Award

 - Systems Biology Ireland Director receives mentorship award

The winners of the prestigious 2022 Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Awards, which celebrate the contribution researchers have made to our society and economy, were revealed yesterday at the annual SFI Science Summit held in Limerick.

Among the Awardees is Professor Andrew Keane, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Director of NexSys, who was awarded the 2022 SFI Industry Partnership Award.

Acknowledging all the award winners Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said, “I want to congratulate all the award recipients. The SFI Awards recognise exceptional achievements within our research community, and the ways in which research contributes to our wellbeing and our environmental, social and economic development and sustainability."

"These awards reflect the dedication and determination of our researchers as they work to discover new knowledge, to innovate, and to make the world a better place. The awardees are truly inspiring."

The transition to a net zero carbon energy system is urgent and the core mission of NexSys (Next Generation Energy Systems) is to decarbonise our energy system. To achieve this mission NexSys brings together researchers from across the island of Ireland, with key industry partners, policy-makers and communities to resolve the challenges of a just transition to a decarbonised energy system.

EirGrid and ESB have partnered with NexSys with a commitment to research and innovation over several years. Through the development of a first-of-its-kind suite of integrated energy system models, NexSys is helping EirGrid and ESB deliver the infrastructure needed for a safe and secure grid with increasing levels of renewable generation.

NexSys, and through its former consortium, ESIPP, has directly influenced organisational strategies and investment decisions and assisted with delivering on business objectives. This has all been made possible through deep and active collaboration. NexSys team members are directly involved in setting national policy and are also shaping international energy policy which demonstrates the key leadership roles they play in positioning Ireland as a leader in sustainable and integrated energy systems.

Professor Keane is also the Director of the UCD Energy Institute and a co-founder of NovoGrid, a UCD software spin-out company supported by NovaUCD, which optimises energy delivery.

Professor Andrew Keane said, “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award from Science Foundation Ireland. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of my colleagues in industry and academia who have pursued collaborative research excellence over several years. Our work with ESB and EirGrid has yielded research outputs of global relevance alongside helping to progress the decarbonisation of our energy system. I would like to thank SFI, UCD and all our industry partners for their continued support and commitment to collaborative multidisciplinary research.”

In addition to Professor Keane, Professor Walter Kolch, Director, Systems Biology Ireland (SBI), UCD School of Medicine was awarded the 2022 SFI Mentorship Award.

Pictured (l-r) Professor Walter Kolch, Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, and Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact (Credit: Alan Price Photography). 

Through SBI Professor Kolch has built a highly interdisciplinary and multinational research environment. Ever since its inception in 2009, SBI has hosted over 260 team members including 105 researchers, 63 postgraduate students, 12 clinician scientists, 36 management and admin staff, and 46 research support staff from over 35 countries.

Professor Walter Kolch said, "I am delighted about this award. It reflects the open and interdisciplinary research culture at SBI, which is an ideal environment for training young scientists."

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, "I would like to congratulate Professor Andrew Keane and the NexSys team on winning this year’s SFI Industry Partnership Award. This collaboration between industry and academia is addressing the vital challenge of transitioning the energy system to net zero carbon emissions, developing new technologies and solutions for equitable, sustainable energy supply for all society.

She added, "I also congratulate Professor Walter Kolch, recipient of this year's SFI Mentorship Award. Professor Kolch has built a highly interdisciplinary and multinational research environment where academics can thrive and develop their careers. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to nurturing the intellectual and professional growth of his mentees, as well as their broader personal development and the equality and diversity of his teams."

Further information on the Awardees in all nine Award categories is available via https://www.sfi.ie/research-news/news/sfi-awards-2022/


22 November 2022

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, NovaUCD, e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie.