Welcome Address

Professor Patrick O'Shea,       President University College Cork

A UCC Physics graduate and former Vice President and Chief Research Officer at the University of Maryland in the US, Professor O’Shea was at the helm of a $500 million (€470m) per annum research and innovation enterprise. His academic, political and business acumen helped the University to become one of the leading research universities in the world. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

Under Prof. O’Shea’s leadership, the University of Maryland has forged strong national and international research partnerships.  He is a strong advocate of cross disciplinary work in universities, highlighting the importance of humanities studies and their interaction with science and other technical disciplines. Professor O'Shea served as Chair of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Director of the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, at the University of Maryland. He played a leading role in the founding of the Maryland NanoCentre and the Maryland Cyber Security Centre.  He also served as a project leader at the University of California Los Alamos National Laboratory, and as a faculty member at Duke University. Professor O’Shea’s area of expertise is in electromagnetics, and he is best known for his pioneering work on electron-accelerators and free-electron lasers. He has played a leading role in several large research programs, and supervised the work of over two dozen doctoral students. His other interests include history, linguistics, athletics and cycling. 

On his appointment last June Professor O’Shea said: “My physics degree from UCC laid the foundations for a successful academic career in the US culminating in my current leadership role at the University of Maryland. I am delighted to return to lead my alma mater, a university of ancient heritage and modern focus.  I thank outgoing President Dr Michael Murphy and the staff of UCC for the amazing job they have all done in securing our future.  UCC’s students and staff have impressed me with their enthusiasm and commitment to excellence in education, scholarship, research and service. Through their dedication, passion, and achievement, UCC will continue its rise among the great universities of the world.”


Keynote Speakers 



Professor Mark Ferguson, Science Foundation Ireland

Professor Mark W.J. Ferguson commenced as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland in January 2012 and as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland in October 2012. Mark is currently Honorary Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester. Mark has been President of a number of Learned Societies eg European Tissue Repair Society, chaired the first UK Government’s Health and Life Sciences Foresight Panel, and served on many committees eg the UKTI Life Sciences Marketing Board, the Committee of Safety of Medicines Biological Subcommittee and the European Space Agency. He has served on the Board or Scientific Advisory Board of a number of International Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies. Mark has a deep interest in translating scientific research findings into successful commercial entities.

 For more info, see: http://www.sfi.ie/about/organisation/sfi-directors/prof-mark-ferguson.html  


Professor. Dr. Sabine Maasen, Technical University of Munich

Professor Sabine Maasen works at Technical University of Munich and is a Friedrich Schiedel Endowed Chair in the Sociology of Science since 12/2013. Her core interests are in the field of social science research. Her current work focuses primarily on the sociology of technoscience and society. She also conducts research in the field of technoscience. Professor Maasen studied sociology, linguistics and psychology at the University of Bielefeld. In 1996 she earned her PhD in sociology and in 2001 she acquired her postdoctoral teaching qualification (habilitation). Between 1988 and 1994 she was a research assistant at Bielefeld University's Center for Interdisciplinary Research and from 1994 to 2001 research coordinator at Max-Planck Institute for Psychological Research. In 2001 she was appointed professor of scientific research/ sociology of science at the University of Basel.

 For more info, see: https://www.professoren.tum.de/en/maasen-sabine/