Speaker Bios

Who is speaking at the IUSA Conference 2015

Brian MacCraith

Brian MacCraith received his B.Sc. in Physics at NUI, Galway, where he also completed a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Optical Spectroscopy of Laser Materials. In 1986 he joined the staff of Dublin City University (DCU) where he has played an active role in the teaching of Physics and research in the areas of optical chemical sensors and biosensors, biomedical diagnostics and nanobiophotonics.

In 1997, Professor MacCraith was a Visiting Scientist at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, working on Biowarfare Detection at the Centre for Biomolecular Science and Engineering. In October 1999 he became founding Director of the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR; www.ncsr.ie) at DCU. The NCSR has now grown to a scale of over 200 researchers working on cutting-edge developments and applications of physical, chemical and biological sensors. In 2005, a spin-off company (Gas Sensor Solutions), based on technology developed by Professor MacCraith, won the Liavan Mallin Invent Award for innovation. In 2005, he led a proposal to establish the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI; www.bdi.ie) at DCU and was appointed as its first Director. The BDI is a large-scale, Academic-Industrial-Clinical partnership (funded by Science Foundation Ireland under their CSET Scheme) and involves over 120 researchers focused on the development of next-generation Point-of-Care diagnostic platforms.

Professor MacCraith is renowned internationally for his research on optical chemical sensors and biosensors. He has a substantial track record of publications and intellectual property in this area. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of SPIE (the international Photonics Organisation), and a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineers.

Professor MacCraith also has a strong profile in teaching and learning activities. He has had a substantial involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education activities through membership of the Institute of Physics Education Subgroup, the RIA National Commission for the Teaching of Physics and various DCU committees dealing with this topic. He has also organised Training Workshops for Physics teachers and, with funding from Intel Ireland, the “Young Women in Physics” series aimed at attracting Secondary schoolgirls into physics careers. In his roles as Director of the NCSR and the BDI, respectively, he contributed strongly to the establishment of Education and Outreach programmes with a special focus on enhancing Primary and Secondary School STEM Education.

Currently, he is on the Boards of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Chamber Choir Ireland, Age-Friendly Ireland, and IBEC (the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation). He chairs the Board of SciFest and the Board of Trustees of Genio. He is Chair of the STEM Education Review Group (established by Minister Seán Sherlock, Minister for Science and Innovation). He is also Chair of the Strategic Review of Medical Training and Career Structure (established by Minister James Reilly, Minister for Health).

In July 2010, he was inaugurated as President of Dublin City University, a position that he will hold for 10 years.

Further Information can be found at http://www.dcu.ie/president/biography.shtml

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