Edinburgh Research Explorer

Conchur O Bradaigh

Chair of Materials Engineering and Head of School

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Biography

Conchúr Ó Brádaigh is Head of the School of Engineering and Chair of Materials Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.  He has Bachelors and Masters degrees from the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, and a PhD from the University of Delaware, all in Mechanical Engineering.  He is a Chartered Engineer and is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and of the Institute for Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3).

He is Principal Investigator for the FASTBLADE accelerated structural testing facility, which will be the world's first dedicated tidal blade test facility, when it is constructed in Rosyth, Fife, Scotland in late 2020. He is also a member since 2014 of ETIP Ocean, the European Union Technology & Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy.

Conchúr 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.

He 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.  

Conchúr 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 also won an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Award for Successful Licensing from NUI Galway ATRP Project, 2007

Conchúr is a leading expert in fibre-reinforced composite materials, with 55 papers in refereed journals, 92 papers in conference proceedings, 6 articles and chapters in books, 11 technical reports and 36 invited international presentations and tutorials. He holds a PhD from the world-leading 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.

He has supervised 10 PhD students and 18 M.Eng.Sc. students to completion, and currently supervises/co-supervises 8 PhD and 3 Post Doctoral researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

His contract research awards amount to more than £18 million, with funding received from the EPSRC, Wave Energy Scotland, National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, Science Foundation Ireland, the European Union, European Space Agency, Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, Sustainable Energy Ireland and international industries in aerospace and renewable energy.

Conchúr is Vice-Chairperson of the SAMPE UK & Ireland Chapter Committee and a Committee Member of the British Composites Society. He was a member of the Board of the Irish Centre for Composites Research (ICOMP) from 2009-2014 and currently sits on the Technical Strategy Committee of ICOMP. 

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