2016 News Archive

Royal Irish Academy features UCD scientists on their Women on Walls campaign

Wednesday, 21 December, 2016 

Women on Walls is a campaign by Accenture in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy, that seeks to make women leaders visible through a series of commissioned portraits, creating a lasting cultural legacy for Ireland in 2016.

The finished artworks are now on permanent display at the Royal Irish Academy. All members of the public are welcome to view the five new painted portraits.

The five portraits consist of four individual portraits of the first four female Members of the Royal Irish Academy, elected in 1949 who were pioneers in their respective fields which included mathematical physics, Irish art history, plant viruses and classical Irish literature. Vera Klute was the chosen artist for the four works of art.

The fifth portrait, painted by artist Blaise Smith, is a group portrait of eight female scientists, who are recipients of the European Research Council Starter Grants 2012 – 2015 and have been chosen as representatives of a generation of outstanding young female scientists working in Ireland today. Their areas of expertise include light and solar panels, genetics, human aging, immunology and bio medical engineering among others.

Three UCD researchers are amongst the group of eight scientists featured in the portrait:

Dr Aoife Gowen (UCD)

Dr Gowen investigates how contact with water contributes to fouling or degradation of various synthetic materials, including medical sutures, pacemakers and water filters.

Professor Debra Laefer (UCD)

Professor Laefer’s research aims to prevent damage to buildings above tunnel excavation, by developing a 3D modelling system that can predict what buildings are most likely to sustain damage during tunnelling.

Professor Emma Teeling (UCD)

Professor Teeling is a world authority on bat genetics. She studies bats for insights into human diseases such as blindness and deafness as well as aging.