Conchur O'Bradaigh

PhD, PROF, FREng, Prof

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Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh is a Visiting Professor at The University of Edinburgh.  He is currently Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield, having been Chair of Materials Engineering at Edinburgh from 2015 to 2023, and Head of the School of Engineering from 2018 to 2023.

Conchúr has Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Galway, and a PhD from the University of Delaware (USA), all in Mechanical Engineering.  He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and of the Institute for Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3). 

Prof. Ó Brádaigh was the Principal Investigator (PI) for the FASTBLADE accelerated structural testing facility, which is the world's first dedicated tidal blade test facility, located in Rosyth Dockyard, Fife, Scotland (see He was also PI for the EU MAXBlade project, which started in January 2023.  He was also the University of Edinburgh PI for the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures (WAMSS), led by the University of Strathclyde and with partner, University of Oxford.  Conchúr has been a member since 2014 of ETIP Ocean, the European Union Technology & Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy.

Conchúr is a leading expert in fibre-reinforced composite materials, with 83 papers in refereed journals, 7 chapters in books, 81 papers in conference proceedings, 30 keynote lectures and conference presentations, 11 reports, 27 other invited lectures, 4 patents granted and 1 patent pending.  He holds a PhD from the Centre for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware (USA).  Conchúr received a Fulbright Scholars Programme Award for Sabbatical visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States in 1995.

His research interests include manufacturing, testing and modelling of composite materials for renewable energy applications (wind and ocean energy), design and fatigue testing of composite tidal turbine blades, liquid moulding of thermoplastic composites using in-situ polymerisation systems, cryogenic properties and space applications and the development of medical orthopaedic products in advanced composite materials.

Prof. Ó Brádaigh has supervised 13 PhD students and 18 MSc research students to completion, and currently supervises/co-supervises 12 PhD and 3 Post Doctoral researchers at the University of Edinburgh. He is the Vice-President of SAMPE Europe, Vice-Chairperson of the SAMPE UK & Ireland Chapter Committee and a Committee Member of the British Composites Society. 

Prof. Ó Brádaigh’s  contract research awards amount to more than £25.4 million, with funding received from EPSRC, the European Union, Wave Energy Scotland, National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, Science Foundation Ireland,  European Space Agency, Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, Sustainable Energy Ireland and international industries in aerospace and renewable energy.

He was previously Professor of Energy Engineering at University College Cork, where he was also Director of the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Research Centre from Feb. 2014 to September 2015.  The MaREI Centre is headquartered at the new Beaufort Building at University College Cork, which opened in July 2015, and is funded jointly by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and a consortium of 50 Irish and multi-national companies.  He previously lectured at the National University of Ireland, Galway from 1990 to 2014.

Prof. Ó Brádaigh was a Co-Founder and Director (from 1999 to 2018) of ÉireComposites Teo. and Composites Testing Laboratory Ltd., two Irish composite materials design, testing and manufacturing companies, based in Co. Galway. ÉireComposites designed products and tooling and manufactures lightweight composite material structures for the international aerospace, automotive and wind-energy sectors.  Composites Testing Laboratory (CTL Tástáil Teo.) carried out accredited testing of composite materials and structures, mainly for the international aerospace and wind-energy markets. 

He was the recipient of the Inaugural Sir Bernard Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation (awarded by Engineers Ireland in 2009) and has 4 patents granted.  He won the Údarás na Gaeltachta / TG4 Gaeltacht Business Award 2007 in the Innovation Category, along with his fellow Co-Managing Director of ÉireComposites, Mr. PJ Feerick.  He was a member of the Board of the Irish Centre for Composites Research (ICOMP) from 2009-2014 and was a member of the Technical Strategy Committee from 2014 to 2020. 

External positions

Adjunct Faculty, Purdue University, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics

1 Mar 2018 → …


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