Young Researcher and Best Paper Awards for Civil Engineering Staff and Students at NUI Galway

Dr Patrick McGetrick, Civil Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, NUI Galway.
Oct 29 2020 Posted: 09:19 GMT

Dr Patrick McGetrick, a Lecturer in Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, recently won the Young Researcher Award at the biennial Civil Engineering Research in Ireland (CERI) conference. The award recognises the excellence of research carried out to date, and the potential of the awardee to grow further as an expert in their field in the future.

The event also saw Best Paper awards won by NUI Galway Civil Engineering students Orlaith McGinley and Michael Conway, beating off stiff competition from submissions in their respective fields from around the country.

Dr McGetrick, originally from Sligo, has over 12 years of experience in Civil Engineering, undertaking collaborative funded research on smart infrastructure and sensing technologies. He specialises in structural design, dynamics, testing, and monitoring of infrastructure such as bridges and buildings, utilising sensors and drones.

Patrick McGetrick is a Principal Investigator on the Modular Mass Timber Building for the Circular Economy project at NUI Galway, which focuses on the design, development and experimental testing of a sustainable modular timber building solution, maximising the use of Irish timber in cross-laminated timber panels, and optimising the modules for future deconstruction and reuse.

Dr McGetrick is currently co-supervising PhD research on the structural health monitoring of bridges using sensors and applications of image processing techniques, and 3D photogrammetry for structural inspections using drones.

Speaking about the award, Dr Patrick McGetrick, College of Science and Engineering, NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to receive this award in recognition of my contribution to Civil Engineering research, both nationally and internationally. My ongoing research at NUI Galway aims to deliver engineering solutions which support the sustainable development of future cities and transport networks worldwide. It is also fantastic to see our students’ research being recognised. It is reflective of the excellent ongoing work in Civil Engineering at the University.”

Orlaith McGinley from Derry, is a PhD student in Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. She received the Best Paper in Energy award for her paper entitled ‘Key considerations in the design of a One-Stop-Shop retrofit model’, co-authored by Dr Paul Moran and Dr Jamie Goggins. The paper provides a definition and review of One-Stop-Shop retrofit delivery models for energy efficient retrofitting of existing dwellings in Ireland and Europe, which aims toimprove comfort, health, and well-being in support of the Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan.

Michael Conway from Galway, a recent graduate of the Master of Engineering (ME) course in Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, received the Best Paper in Structures award for his paper entitled ‘Reinforcement of Timber Elements in Compression Perpendicular to the Grain using Compressed Wood Dowels’, co-authored by Dr Conan O’Ceallaigh, Mr Sameer Mehra and Professor Annette Harte of the Timber Engineering Research Group (TERG). Michael worked alongside TERG to complete his ME thesis research on the experimental testing of advanced engineered timber products.

The CERI 2020 event was hosted by Cork Institution of Technology on behalf of the Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland (CERAI). It was a fully virtual event this year, attracting 230 attendees from academia and practice and hosted seven keynote lectures, and 130 papers and presentations across nine technical streams.

For more about the Modular Mass Timber Building for the Circular Economy project, visit:

For more about the Timber Engineering Research Group at NUI Galway, visit:

For more about the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group, visit:


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