Annual Report 2001 - School of Chemical Sciences

annual report 2001

school of chemical sciences

Unit Report

  • The School of Chemical Sciences launched a new degree in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences in response to the report on Skills Shortages in the Physical Sciences.
  • Four academic members of staff gained internal promotion.
  • Five members of staff were involved in development of plans to set up the National Institute of Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) at DCU.

This has been another succesful year for the School of Chemical Sciences. The new academic year saw the first intake of students into our new B Sc degree in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which has been designed with the needs of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Ireland much in mind. It also saw the second intake of students into two recent programmes in which the School of Chemical Sciences is involved. The first is the Common Entry into Science initiative aimed at second level students who had yet to make up their minds as to the degree course they wanted to pursue coming directly into third level. Numbers in this initiative doubled over the previous year. The second was the B Sc degree in Science Education, aimed at producing second level teachers, with specialisms in either Chemistry or Physics. This degree course is based on the concurrent model of teacher training, and is taught in collaboration with the School of Education Studies at DCU. This degree is now led by Dr Odilla Finlayson, who was recently promoted to a Senior Lectureship in Science Education. Prof Han Vos also represents the School on the Taskforce set up by the Minister for Education, Dr Michael Woods, to look at ways to halt the decline in students at second level taking Chemistry and Physics at Leaving Certificate level.

The School has also had some successes on the research front, with research grants being awarded to Prof Malcolm Smyth, Prof Dermot Diamond, Prof Robert Forster and Dr Brett Paull. Planning for the new building to house the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR), which was approved for funding under the HEA Research funding scheme in 1999, continued apace, with important inputs from Prof Dermot Diamond and Mr Michael Burke. The University Designated Research Centre in Drug Design (MOLTEK), involving Dr Josh Howarth, Dr John Gallagher, Dr Paraic James, Dr Peter Kenny and Prof Albert Pratt, continued the development of plans to be involved in the new National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) at DCU.

Several staff within the School were promoted during the year; namely Dr Robert Forster and Dr Conor Long were promoted to Associate Professorships, while Dr Odilla Finlayson and Dr Paraic James became Senior Lecturers. The School also welcomed a new member of academic staff, namely Dr Kieran Nolan, but said farewell to Dr Frances Weldon and Dr Anthony Killard.