Richard O'Kennedy Awards winners 2023
Richard O'Kennedy Awards winners 2023

School of Physical Sciences Award Recipients

Prof. John Costello and Dr. Jennifer Gaughran receive Richard O'Kennedy awards for 2023

The School of Physical Sciences is delighted to celebrate awards for two of our staff members – Prof. John Costello (Overall Winner Richard O’Kennedy Award) and Dr. Jennifer Gaughran (Emerging Talent Award). 

The Richard O'Kennedy Awards were established to recognise the contributions of staff members across the Faculty of Science and Health, these awards honour the work of Prof. Richard O’Kennedy, the role he played in the life of DCU, and the values which he epitomises. Prof. O'Kennedy is pictured with our winners from the School of Physical Sciences for 2023.


Prof. John Costello (Ph.D, F.Inst.P, C.Phys) is Full Professor of Physics in the School of Physical Sciences, DCU and a founding member of the NCPST. He has held senior management roles in DCU, including Head of the School of Physical Sciences and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health

Prof. Costello is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist as well as a Member of the European Physical Society. He has extensive research interests in the field of intense laser matter interactions with a special interest in laser plasma generation and photoionization processes - most recently in EUV and X-ray Free Electron Laser (FEL) fields.

We congratulate him as the recipient and Overall Winner of the Richard O’Kennedy award for the Faculty of Science and Health for 2023.

Click for Prof. Costello’s full bio


Dr. Jennifer Gaughran is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Sciences, DCU and the Chair of the Physics with Biomedical Sciences degree programme.

Dr. Gaughran’s research has focused on the design and testing of new and innovative methods in biological analysis for disease detection. She is interested in development of new diagnostic techniques (exploiting the use of nanotechnology) that can be used as Point-of-Care (POC) diagnostic devices.

She is also the lead on the Grain-4-Lab SFI research project which is developing sustainable bioplastic lab consumables from waste products in the brewing and distilling industry. She won the DCU President's Award in 2023 for Early Career Academic and Research Staff. 

We also congratulate Dr. Gaughran as a winner of a Richard O’Kennedy award – the Emerging Talent award for 2023.

Click for Dr. Gaughran’s full bio