The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Academy Gold Medals presented at private ceremony in Queen's University Belfast

14 September 2020

The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals were presented to Richard English, MRIA, Professor of Politics and Vincent Fusco, MRIA, Professor of Electronic Engineering and Head of High Frequency Electronics Research at Queen’s University Belfast to honour their outstanding contributions to the Social Sciences and the Engineering Sciences, respectively. 

The medals were presented by Professor Gerry McKenna, Senior Vice-President, Royal Irish Academy with Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast at a private ceremony at Queen’s University Belfast on Monday, 14 September, in line with public health guidelines.  

Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are sponsored by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and they recognise leading scholars in Ireland whose work has made an international impact, demonstrating the global reach and recognition of the exceptional quality of scholarship taking place on this island. The Gold Medals have become the ultimate accolade in scholarly achievement in Ireland.

Announcing the awarding of the Gold Medals to Professors English and Fusco, President of the Royal Irish Academy, Dr Mary Canning, said

This is the first time that the awards have been presented to leading academics in the same institution in the same year and I congratulate these two exceptional recipients. The Academy wishes to thank the President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast for hosting today’s private ceremony’.

On the news that he was the receive this honour, Professor Fusco said

The microwave wireless communications expertise developed here at Queen’s University Belfast is systemically important to modern life and working practices. It creates technologies that will make our daily digital interactions seamless by enabling future mobile phones, autonomous vehicles, and satellite communications. This award is recognition not only for myself but also for those bright minds that I have been fortunate to engage with over my career.’

Responding to the awarding of his Academy Gold Medal, Professor English commented

'I am extremely honoured to receive the RIA's Gold Medal in the Social Sciences and I am very grateful to the Academy for this award. It's a pleasure also to thank Queen's University Belfast, where I've had the privilege of working for most of my academic career.'

Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast said

Queen's is renowned for excellence in scholarship and research on the island of Ireland and internationally. I am delighted that these highly esteemed academics, Professor Richard English and Professor Vincent Fusco, have been honoured by the Royal Irish Academy for their outstanding academic research and achievements in the social sciences and engineering, respectively. This is a special year for our University as we mark the 175th anniversary of our foundation as one of three Queen’s Colleges in Ireland.  It is fitting that two of our academics are being honoured with the highest accolade in scholarly achievement in Ireland in the same year we are celebrating 175 years of academic excellence. I warmly congratulate each of them on this great honour.’  

Fan ar an eolas le nuachtlitir Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann

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