UCD O'Brien Centre for Science is quantum leap in scientific infrastructure
The official opening of phase 2 of the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science at University College Dublin by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD represents a quantum leap forward in terms of scale and ambition.
The Centre now boasts in excess of 38,000m² of new and refurbished accommodation at an overall cost of almost €175m. It will now become home to over 2,000 undergraduate students, more than 500 graduate students, and many more researchers across a range of scientific disciplines. The construction of this phase provided more than 1,000 jobs over three years.
When complete the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science will be the single largest capital investment in science in the history of the State -- at around €300 million; made up of state funding (PRTLI 5, HEA), private philanthropy, and university funds.
Professor Brian Cox OBE, who is widely credited with making science both accessible and exciting for all ages and backgrounds, gave a special lecture at the official opening on 18 Oct 2013. The lecture was followed by a Q&A session with the audience chaired by Irish Broadcaster Pat Kenny, a UCD engineering graduate.
He is arguably one of the best-known physicists today. His books and programmes have been read and watched by millions around the world.
Often referred to as a rock star scientist, Brian Cox is Professor of Particle Physics at Manchester University and is one of the leaders on the ATLAS projects at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, a long way from his days playing keyboards for D:Ream whilst studying for his PhD.
Phase 3 of the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, which will complete the suite of facilities for the sciences at University College Dublin, is currently in the planning stage.
The transformation of the science infrastructure at University College Dublin is due in great part to the extraordinary philanthropy of Denis and Catherine O'Brien; George and Angela Moore; Eddie and Hildegarde O'Connor; Thomas and Deirdre Lynch; Dr Cormac and Anne Kilty; Jim and Mary Flavin; and Shay Garvey.
UCD's corporate partners Elan, Tullow Oil, Accenture, AOL, Glanbia, ICON, Intel and A. Menarini, have also endorsed the UCD vision for science through their generous philanthropy towards this development.