Professor of Microbial Biotechnology in University College Dublin (UCD) Kevin O’Connor has been named Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI’s) 2019 Researcher of a Year.
Director of a BEACON SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre during UCD, Prof. O’Connor has been described by SFI as “a personality in a bioeconomy and bio-sciences, who has achieved vital breakthroughs and is assisting to emanate plan during inhabitant and general turn to renovate multitude and emanate new opportunities for farming Ireland and Europe”.
His work is seminal in a area of round economy (plastics to biodegradable plastics), round bioeconomy (dairy side tide to value-added chemical) and biotechnology (hydroxytyrosol prolongation by a biocatalyst).
He collaborated with attention and grown record to modify a dairy side tide into an organic acid, that was law and protected to industry.
The National Bioeconomy Campus – outset from O’Connor’s prophesy within a BEACON SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre during UCD – is now in doing phase, with tellurian food hulk Glanbia located on a campus with their EU-funded flagship biorefinery (AgriChemWhey) project.
Prof. O’Connor’s work led to a arrangement of a Irish Bioeconomy Foundation, and a campus is now formulating internal practice and building a plans for bioeconomy jobs in farming Ireland.
He is also chair of a Scientific Committee for a Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBIJU), a €4 billion public-private partnership where he helps figure a bioeconomy investigate agenda.
Prof. O’Connor has published extensively and law technologies on a acclimatisation of rubbish plastics to biodegradable plastic.
Biodegradable plastics research
In a first-of-a-kind extensive investigate of biodegradable plastics, he suggested that biodegradable plastics and their blends need to be managed to equivocate sea wickedness and they are not a ‘silver bullet’ for a cosmetic wickedness problem.
Commenting on receiving a award, he said: “I am gay and celebrated to accept this prestigious SFI award.
It is a approval of a loyalty of a many researchers and attention partners with whom we work and combine with, opposite mixed systematic fields and sectors, during UCD, opposite Ireland and internationally.
“Through these collaborations we are formulating believe and translating this believe into innovative technological solutions to residence tellurian and governmental bioeconomy challenges.”