September 21, 2020
Business News

Kilkenny man who helped devise Covid contact-tracing strategy receives presitgious award

A Kilkenny man is among researchers from five universities that have been awarded prestigious Lero Director’s Prizes.

Dr Jim Buckley of Freshford Road, Kilkenny city, is among eight researchers from five leading Irish universities  awarded Lero Director’s Prizes at an online ceremony this week.

The Kilkenny man, who works at the University of Limerick. was awarded the Lero Director’s Prize for Research Excellence.

Earlier this summer, Dr Buckley received a Science Foundation Ireland Covid-19 Rapid Response Funding award for COVIGILANT, a research project with colleagues in UL and NUI Galway to gather evidence informing and optimising Ireland’s digital contact-tracing strategy and practice.

Awards were presented to academics, researchers and support staff from NUI Galway, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Maynooth University and Dublin City University.

The Lero Director’s Prizes were presented at the annual gathering of Lero members which was held online this year for the first time in the centre’s 15-year history.

Closing the conference, Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Lero, told members that their resilience and dedication has meant that Lero has continued and, in many cases, expanded its ground-breaking work despite the pandemic.

Dr Fitzgerald said: “I am constantly impressed by the women and men who are the backbone of our world-leading research centre. Their resilience, ingenuity and ambition to provide research-based solutions and insights to resolve problems, have not been derailed by a pandemic that has transformed so many other facets of modern living.

“This year, Lero celebrates the 15th anniversary of its foundation. Since 2005, Lero has established itself as one of the top software research centres in the world and this is because of its people. 2020 has brought unique challenges to our members and our world.

“Today we recognise the resilience and ingenuity of Lero’s academics and researchers in providing scientific and technological solutions to global issues. We also acknowledge their dedication to the centre, to engaging the public and industry and to diversity and inclusion in our work and in our world,” Professor Fitzgerald added.

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