2024 RIA Gold Medals recipients announced21 November 2023
The 2024 RIA Gold Medal in the Engineering Sciences has been awarded to Máire O'Neill MRIA and the 2024 RIA Gold Medal in the Social Sciences has been awarded to Brigid Laffan MRIA.
The Royal Irish Academy awards two Gold Medals every year. They are awarded to individuals who have made a demonstrable and internationally recognised outstanding scholarly contribution in their fields. The medals acclaim Ireland’s foremost thinkers in the humanities, social sciences, physical and mathematical sciences, life sciences, engineering sciences and the environment and geosciences.
The 2024 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are sponsored by AIB.
Máire O’Neill MRIA, Regius Professor in Electronics and Computer Engineering, director of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and director of the UK-wide Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE) at Queen’s University Belfast, has been awarded the 2024 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in the Engineering Sciences.
Brigid Laffan MRIA, Emeritus Professor at the European University Institute and University College Dublin, chancellor of University of Limerick and president of the European Policy Centre (EPC) Brussels, has been awarded the 2024 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in the Social Sciences.
Máire O’Neill is Regius Professor in Electronics and Computer Engineering and director of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast. She is also director of the UK-wide Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems and serves on the Responsible AI UK leadership team. She is internationally recognised for her research in the areas of hardware security and applied cryptography. Professor O’Neill previously held a UK EPSRC Leadership Fellowship (2008–14), was a former holder of a UK Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowship (2003–08) and led the €3.8m EU H2020 SAFEcrypto (Secure Architectures for Future Emerging Cryptography) project (2014–18). She has received numerous awards, which include a Blavatnik Engineering and Physical Sciences medal, 2019; a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, 2014; and the British Female Inventor of the Year, 2007. She is also a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. To date, Professor O’Neill has published two research monographs, six book chapters and 190 peer-reviewed research papers.
Brigid Laffan is Emeritus Professor at the European University Institute, chancellor of the University of Limerick and president of the European Policy Centre (EPC) Brussels. She was director and professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, until her retirement in August 2021. She was previously professor of European Politics at the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe) University College Dublin (UCD), and vice-president of UCD and principal of the College of Human Sciences from 2004 to 2011. Professor Laffan was the founding director of the Dublin European Institute UCD from 1999. She has received numerous awards, including L’ordre national du Mérite from the president of the French Republic, 2010; the THESEUS Award for outstanding research on European Integration, 2012; the UK University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the US European Studies Association (EUSA), 2022. In 2018 she was ranked among the women who shape Europe by POLITICO and was also awarded by the University of Limerick Alumni Association with its highest honour. Professor Laffan has authored, co-authored and edited 10 books, published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 60 book chapters. Her latest book, co-authored with Stefan Telle, The EU’s response to Brexit: united and effective, was published in April 2023.
Professor O'Neill and Professor Laffan will be presented with their Gold Medals in a special ceremony in spring 2024.
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