By role
By institution
Prof Meave Henchion
Derek O’Brien
Dr Gerard Cagney
Prof Nick Holden
Prof Pat Guiry
Prof Kevin O’Connor
Prof Eoin Casey
Prof Brijesh Tiwari
Prof Ramesh Babu

Maeve is a Principal Research Officer /Head of Dept in the Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis in the Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre in Dublin. A UCD Adjunct Professor, Maeve is the BiOrbic Sustainability Platform Co-Lead and Chair of the Centre’s Research Programme Committee.

179 publications, >€4m research funding, Associate editor Nutrition and Food Science Technology. Partner on EUSCAR (CASA) to develop EU research agenda for bioeconomy.

Advisory board EU AgriForValor. Member of Ireland’s High-Level Implementation Group for the National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy. Research interests span the supply chain and usually operate at the interface between social science and physical and life sciences. They include food innovation, sustainable food production and consumption, consumer and industry acceptance of novel food technologies, food quality and strategic food marketing.

Email Derek O’Brien
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Derek is Executive Director at BiOrbic with overall responsibility for the day to day running of the Centre. He works closely with other members of the Centre leadership to shape the strategic direction of the Centre and to ensure the Centre is performing in line key performance objectives. Derek leads the Centre’s Operations team.

Derek was part of BiOrbic’s founding team and previously worked in senior roles research and innovation roles at UCD and at a national level with the Irish Research Council.


M.A. Globalisation:

B.Sc Government and Public Policy:

Dr Cagney is a senior research scientist focusing on the analysis of biological and clinical problems using network approaches, particularly protein interactions and synthetic biology.

Expert in mass spectrometry, proteomics, synthetic biology, bioinformatics.

Current projects:

  1. Reverse engineering bioplastic producing bacteria to generate novel and sustainable biopolymers
  2. Proteomics of biofilms
  3. Proteomics of the microbiome


PhD, Queens University Belfast

Email Prof Nick Holden
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Professor Holden’s research is on the sustainability of agriculture and food chains, with a focus on: (i) Life Cycle Assessment; (ii) Soil Quality (Sensing and Visual) methods; and (iii) Agricultural Systems Technology. As a member of the Biosystems Engineering discipline since 1998, he teaches life cycle assessment, green technology projects, precision agriculture and research and teaching methods. Nick is head of subject for Agricultural Systems Technology and has recently led the introduction of a new BAgrSc degree in this area. He is also school Head of Teaching and Learning. He supervises graduate and post-doctoral research as part of the activity of his research group.

Nick is a Principal Investigator (PI) in the UCD Earth Institute and UCD Institute of Food and Health, where he is leader of the Food Chain Sustainability theme. He is an SFI-funded PI associated with two major projects, the Innovation Partnership CONSUS, where he leads a work package on nutrient use efficiency as part of the overall aim of developing intelligent support tools for agronomists, and the National Centre, BEACON, where he is Deputy Director and the Platform Leader for the Knowledge Hub. He is also a PI in 3 H2020 projects (AgroChemWhey, AgroCycle and Valumics), being a work package leader for two (AgroChemWhey and AgroCycle).


MEgnSc (by research), University College Dublin

PhD, NUI University College Dublin

MSc Pedoloogy and Soll survey, University of Reading

BSc Geography, Queen Mary, University of London

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Professor Guiry’s key professional/work interests include the teaching of (organic) chemistry to third and fourth level students, the training of under- and postgraduate students in synthetic chemistry and the supervision of PhD students, visiting international students and postdoctoral researchers.

Pat’s  research group focuses on synthetic organic chemistry, with interests / expertise in both the development of asymmetric synthetic methodology through the design and application of new chiral ligands in homogeneous metal-catalysed transformations and in the total synthesis of compounds of biological interest. His programme includes the use of nature as an inspiration for the design and synthesis of a family of stable lipoxin A4 analogues for the resolution of inflammation. Key skills include the structure identification / confirmation of compounds synthesised / isolated through the application of the full breadth of modern spectroscopic and analytical techniques.

Current projects focus on the conversion of waste material from the agri-food industry into higher value chemicals, the employment of CO2 as a C-1 synthon, the design of novel organocatalysts, the synthesis of potential anti-cancer agents and novel anti-inflammatories.


Full Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oxford

PhD in Chemistry: University College Dublin

BSc (Hons) in Chemistry: University College Dublin

Kevin O’Connor is Director of BEACON SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, a Principal Investigator in the UCD Earth Institute and a Full Professor in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD.  He is chairperson of the scientific committee for the €4 billion public-private partnership Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a former member of the European Commission biobased products expert group and a previous member of European Commission committee entitled the “lead market initiative for Bio-based products (2008-2011).

Kevin’s research interests are integrated biorefining, biobased chemicals, microbial biotechnology, biodegradable polymers, biocatalysis and protein engineering.  He has published over 100 international peer review articles and made of over 200 contributions at national and international conferences. He has filed 8 patents and successfully licensed 3 technologies resulting from his research work. Kevin is the founder of Bioplastech, a university spin out company endeavouring to commercialise the conversion of residues and biobased resources to biodegradable polymers, and Nova Mentis, a second campus company established to commercialise a novel antioxidant with health promoting properties.

Professor O’Connor was a leading driver of the development of the €6M rural Bioeconomy campus at Lisheen, Co. Tipperary, and the Irish EU Model demonstrator region for the sustainable production of chemicals.


PhD, Microbiology, University College Cork

BSc, University College Cor

Professor Eoin Casey is currently based in the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. He leads a research programme aimed at developing new and improved processes for the bioeconomy and for water/wastewater treatment. His research output spans fundamental research (funded by ERC, IRC and SFI) to applied research (funded by Enterprise Ireland & industry) through to successful commercialisation with patenting & licencing. One of his flagship achievements was the development the reaction engineering framework and scale-up strategy for the MABR, a wastewater treatment technology that uses 75% less energy than existing technology. This technology has been commercialised by OxyMem Ltd. OxyMem has won numerous national and international awards and is a Global Cleantech 100 company.


Ph.D., University College Dublin.

B.E. (Chemical), University College Dublin

Professor Tiwari is a principal research officer at Teagasc. His primary research interests relate to novel food processing, extraction and preservation technologies, with a strong focus on green and sustainable solutions to food industry challenges. His research focuses on extraction and biotransformation technologies with particular reference to extraction of biomolecules from food by-products and waste streams.

Brijesh was previously a Senior lecturer of Food Engineering at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and an International Visiting Researcher to the faculty of Food Engineering at Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, India.

Professor Tiwari led ab initio his Advanced Food Processing Technology Research Group, which, through development and funding success, has become a strong multidisciplinary group with an excellent track record in delivering high quality research and innovation metrics.

Brijesh is an elected Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, UK), Fellow of Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST, UK), Fellow of Association of Food Scientists & Technologist (FAFST, India) and member of other key international professional bodies. Internationally recognised reputation for food processing research as evidenced by his publication profile (>150 papers published, h-index = 45 – Web of Science), invitations to join editorial boards and appointments to editorial positions in leading journals. He is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Food Processing and Preservation (Wiley) and Guest Editor of several SCI journals and a Book Series Editor of IFST Advances in Food Science (Wiley).


2006 – 2009:
PhD (Food Engineering), UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine University College Dublin. Thesis supervisor: Prof Colm O’Donnell

2002 – 2003:
MSc (Food Technology), Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India

1997 – 2001:
BSc (Hons) Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Govind Ballabh University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India

Email Prof Ramesh Babu
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Professor Babu’s current research focuses on advanced polymeric materials, which addresses key global challenges of functional materials, polymer composites, clean water, biobased polymers from renewable resources and production of chemical building blocks using waste as a resource.

He has over 17 years of experience in polymer processing, membrane separation, nanocomposites, biodegradable polymers and polymer characterisation. He worked in Clariant Gmbh and Asahi-Kasei Corporation, Japan before joining Trinity College Dublin, in 2003. Currently he is partner in BBI-JU AGRICHEMWHEY flagship project focusing developing the packaging products based on second generation PLA and he is recently funded with EU-China project Mix-Up investigating the conversion of mixed waste plastic to value added products. He is at the forefront of industrial research representing TCD in AMBER Centre of Excellence in Material Science, BiOrbic Bioeconomy Research Centre, DPTC – Dairy Processing Technology Centre, and FHI – Food for Health Ireland.

He is co-founder of two spinout companies: Bioplastech Limited (2009), and Selfsense Technologies (2014), and a founding member of Irish Bioeconomy Foundation (IBF). He was recipient of the Trinity Innovator award for 2018.


Research Associate Professor, School of Chemistry, Trinity College, Dublin

Funded Investigator SFI BiOrbic

Funded Investigator, SFI AMBER

Investigator, CRANN, Trinity College, Dublin

Senior Research Fellow & Centre Manager, Polymer Research Centre, School of Physics, Trinity College

Senior Polymer Chemist, Materials Ireland Polymer research centre – worked on developing and implementation of nanocomposites technologies in the Irish polymer industries through support of Enterprise Ireland.

Research Associate, Asahi-Kasei Corporation, Japan – worked on developing the polymer nanocomposites for various applications such as membranes, packaging, automotive applications, foams etc.

Executive-Product development & Technical sales in Clariant Gmbh, India – worked on developing and marketing the specialty textile auxiliaries for dyeing, printing and spinning of textiles.

Postdoctoral Fellow in Department of Polymer Science, University Department of Chemical technology, Mumbai, India – worked on developing the polymer additives based on 1,3-butanediol.

PhD graduate, Chemical Engineering Department, University Department of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India