New Deputy President and Registrar appointed at University of Galway

University of Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Peter McHugh as the next Deputy President and Registrar. Credit - Martina Regan.
Oct 25 2023 Posted: 10:42 IST

University of Galway has today announced the appointment of Professor Peter McHugh as the next Deputy President and Registrar.

Professor McHugh was confirmed to take on the role from May 1, 2024 at a meeting of Údarás na hOllscoile, the University’s Governing Authority. 

President of University of Galway, Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I am delighted to welcome the appointment of Professor Peter McHugh as the next Deputy President and Registrar. Peter brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, both from his deep appreciation of our University and its community, but also the higher education landscape at home and abroad. We also know him as an accomplished, decent colleague who wears his achievements in research, teaching and leadership lightly and with great humanity. I look forward to working closely with him in his new role from 1 May 2024.

“I would also like to take the opportunity of today’s announcement to thank Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh for his work on behalf of University of Galway since he joined in 2014 and his dedication to academic standards and teaching and learning for our student community. He has been a great support and honest adviser to me and to many colleagues, which is much appreciated. We will continue to work together as he completes his term as Deputy President and Registrar, and beyond.”

Professor McHugh said: “It is a real honour and privilege for me to be appointed to this important leadership role in University of Galway, my alma mater. I am passionate about our University and working to ensure the absolute best for its future. I believe that it is a fantastic time to be at University of Galway, as we have so much going for us: a beautiful campus in a fantastically vibrant city, a wonderful student population and truly outstanding staff. I look forward very much to working with the President and our whole university community on the continued growth and positive development of our wonderful institution.”

Professor McHugh is Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering and has been part of the faculty of the University since 1991. He previously served as Dean of College of Engineering and Informatics, Head of School of Engineering and Informatics, and Head of School of Engineering. 

Professor McHugh holds a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Galway and a Master’s and a PhD from Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. He also holds a Doctor of Science on published work from the National University of Ireland. 

Professor McHugh joined the University faculty in 1991. He is an Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering since 2007 and served as Dean of College and Head of School of Engineering and Informatics from 2016 to 2019 and Head of School of Engineering from 2019 to 2021. 

He has been a pioneer in the development of biomedical engineering in Ireland and internationally, and he was the founding Director of the Biomechanics Research Centre (BioMEC) at University of Galway. 

Professor McHugh is an internationally recognised research leader in biomedical engineering and his research is focused on fundamental developments and applications of computational and experimental methods in biomechanics, tissue mechanics and medical implants and devices. 

He has a significant publication record, with 177 refereed journal publications, 10 book chapters and over 350 conference publications. He has supervised to completion 33 PhD and 23 research master’s students. He has generated over €14m in research funding from national, EU and industry sources, and has active research collaborations with international leaders in the field, spanning Europe and the USA.

His teaching interests are in computational methods in biomedical and mechanical engineering, medical device analysis and design, and biomechanics. He is deeply committed to undergraduate and postgraduate education, and has been instrumental in developing and extending the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the biomedical engineering domain.

Under his leadership as Head of School, the School of Engineering developed its gender equality action plan, and building on this groundwork the school went on to achieve the Athena SWAN Silver Award last year, the first School of Engineering in Ireland to achieve this award.

He has himself received numerous awards, including membership of the Royal Irish Academy (2011), the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland - Section of Bioengineering (2011), the Presidential Nominee Fellowship of Engineers Ireland (2009), fellowship of the Irish Academy of Engineering (2019), and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1995). 

He has also served in officer roles in the Royal Irish Academy, most recently as Secretary for Policy and International Relations where he was the Irish representative to several international academy organisations, including the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC). 


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