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Professor John Walsh is one of the leading international experts on geological faults and their impact on fluid flow. He is one of the world’s most highly cited structural geologists, and his work has had substantial impact within industry as well as at the leading edge of academic endeavour in transforming the way geologists view the subsurface structure of fault systems. His research achievements have been recognised by a number of leading international awards.

In 1985 John founded the Fault Analysis Group with the late Juan Watterson at the University of Liverpool, becoming its Director in 1996 and overseeing its re-location to University College Dublin in 2000. The group has been at the forefront of fundamental research on faults and fractures for the past 3 decades, establishing much improved insights on the geometry and growth of faults and their impact on fluid flow. The group’s principal aim is to carry out basic scientific research on all aspects of faults and other types of fracture and to apply the results to practical problems, principally within the geohazards, groundwater, hydrocarbon and minerals sectors.

Professor of Structural Geology at University College Dublin, John has been Director of iCRAG, the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences, which is a transformative development for geosciences research in Ireland. The Centre, which is jointly funded by SFI, ERDF and industry, representing the largest single investment in geosciences in Ireland. iCRAG employs nearly 80 research staff across all of the universities and institutes performing geoscience research in Ireland and is developing a strong international presence in applied geosciences with a range of societal and economic benefits.

Professor Walsh has been on the editorial board of several international journals including the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Geology and Journal of Structural Geology. He has also been the Distinguished Lecturer for several leading Geoscience organisations, including the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (2004) and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2008). John and other members of the Fault Analysis Group were awarded UCD’s annual NovaUCD 2010 Innovation Award, becoming the first research group to receive this.

In 2015 John was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Geological Society of London, becoming the first Irish person to be so awarded since the inception of the fellowship in 1807: the fellowship is conferred on individuals from any country in the world who have rendered significant service to science, and geoscience in particular In 2017 John was the recipient of the William Smith Medal awarded by the Geological Society of London,: the medal is awarded for excellence in contributions to applied and economic aspects of geoscience, and is one of the world’s leading awards for geoscience.