Introduction by Professor John Kelly,
Chair, Standing Committee on Engineering Research, the Irish Academy of Engineering
The lecture series presented here is a programme of the Irish Academy of Engineering in partnership with Euro-CASE, the European association of engineering academies, and with the support of the Intel Labs Europe.
The Academy’s Standing Committee on Engineering Research established as its prime mission in 2010, to create a critical awareness in the Irish universities, Government and industries of the need for major changes in the philosophy and practices of engineering education and research which will result in a new dynamic in the contribution of engineering education and research to innovation in Ireland. The starting point for such an agenda was to establish the precise current status of engineering research in the Irish university and higher education institutions.
The results of this study are reported in the committee’s paper “Engineering Research & Irish Economic Development” and may be seen in the Academy’s website www.iae.ie where it is reproduced in full. The situation was seen to be clearly far from optimum when it was discovered that, though the research that was being conducted in the Irish third level engineering schools was of the highest international standard, that over the previous five years, only 8% of the total Government’s funding for research was allocated to engineering, with some 85% going to the sciences. Furthermore, the bridge which could provide the route for translating the findings of engineering research to industrial innovation was seen to be weak and sorely in need of major structural changes. The reasons for these situations were analysed and the actions necessary to correct them were identified and presented in the committee’s paper.
It was decided by the Academy that for the greater promotion of the Committee’s findings and recommendations, to invite four distinguished engineers who have made their names in the international world of engineering innovation, to participate in this lecture series on the topic of Engineering Research & Innovation. The Academy has been greatly honoured, and our Irish society greatly enlightened, to have the following participate in this lecture series:
- Mr. Justin Rattner, Chief Technical Officer of the Intel Corporation USA
- Professor Michael Kelly, Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge
- Professor John V. McCanny, Director of the Institute of Electronics Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), Queen’s University Belfast
- Professor Henning Kagermann, President of National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
This lecture series was launched by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, T.D. in University College Dublin in October 2011 and the lectures were delivered at university venues in Belfast and in Dublin over the academic year 2011/2012. The Academy believes that they merit a wider audience than they had in Ireland, great indeed though it was, and accordingly, it is pleased to launch them on the World Wide Web for the benefit of the international audiences which these lectures deserve and where they will be appreciated.