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2023 NovaUCD Consultancy of the Year Award

30 March, 2023

Dr Steve Davis (UCD School of Archaeology) receives 2023 NovaUCD Consultancy of the Year Award

Dr Stephen Davis, an Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Archaeology whose research interests include environmental archaeology and archaeological prospection, has been named recipient of the 2023 NovaUCD Consultancy of the Year Award.

Dr Davis works in the field of remote sensing, in particular using ALS (Airborne Laser Scanning), also known as LiDAR, geophysical surveys, and multispectral satellite data in archaeological prospection.  In recent years Dr Davis has carried out 12 consultancy projects, through ConsultUCD, for several County Councils across Ireland, including Cork, Clare, Kildare, Limerick, Meath, Sligo, Tipperary and Westmeath.

In these projects he has used LiDAR data to detect archaeological features in the landscape where Councils/Transport Infrastructure Ireland have planned to construct new roads or new motorways, or as part of Council-led heritage projects. His expertise, and the results of his projects have to date identified many hundreds of potential archaeological features that might otherwise have been impacted, providing advance warning to road construction projects of potential impacts. This has enabled construction companies and Councils to understand the impact of their locally planned projects and to adjust their plans as required.

Speaking at the Awards event Professor Mark Rogers, Acting UCD President said, “The NovaUCD Innovation Awards are a key annual event at UCD recognising and highlighting successes achieved by our research, innovation and entrepreneurial communities across the University and I congratulate all those who have received awards. I would also like to take the opportunity of wishing them ongoing success in the future as they continue to deliver economic and societal impact through their commercialisation, consultancy, entrepreneurial and innovation activities.”

On receiving the 2023 NovaUCD Consultancy of the Year Award, Dr Davis said, “I am delighted to be receiving this Award. I am especially grateful for the assistance of ConsultUCD in facilitating this work, and to colleagues in Transport Infrastructure Ireland for their significant foresight in implementing LiDAR-based prospection as a standard part of their road construction process.”

“I believe Ireland is an international leader in this field, and it provides not only the basis for exceptional dialogue between the public and private sectors, but also a wealth of data that can be used for sometimes unrelated research purposes. Analysis of these datasets is invaluable for both the construction and heritage industries, and large digital datasets such as these continue to revolutionise our understandings of the Irish archaeological landscape.”

Dr Davis has previously led projects at Brú na Bóinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Hill of Ward, both in Co. Meath, integrating LiDAR and geophysical survey data to enhance our understanding of these important archaeological landscapes.

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