Steering Committee

EPA Funded Research Project at the University of Limerick

Karen Roche

In 2016 Dr. Roche was contracted by Helix Innovation Partnerships Ltd to provide Project Management services to the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She currently is managing 16 projects funded by the EPA in 5 National Research Institutes in Ireland (UCC, CIT, UL, NUIG, DCU).

Karen Roche holds an Honours BSc. And MSc. in Plant Science and a PhD in natural functional food Ingredient development (UCC). Having lived in the US for 5 years (New York) she completed further studies in International Food Laws and Regulations at Michigan State University. Prior to establishing her own business Dr. Roche was R& D manager for Irish Health Company ReproDOC Ltd (Fermoy) for 18 months. She formed her own company ‘Themis Food Advisory’ in May 2014. Themis offers food companies advice on how to achieve compliance with prevailing regulations to current and new food products and markets.The original business focus offered advice on the Food Information to Consumers (FIC) regulation 1169/2011 and offered an online Product Label Review service. Themis services have expanded from Product Label Reviewsand Re-labelling of US food and nutritional products for the European marketinto other areas such as Commercial Feasibility studies and Research reports on new ingredients for both the food and food supplement markets.

Darren Byrne

Darren Byrne, (MSc, BA) is a Policy Adviser within the Environmental Advisory Unit of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment. Prior to joining the Department in 2006, Darren worked on air quality assessments for road infrastructural projects & the production of Environmental Impact Statements as Senior Scientific Officer in Enterprise Ireland’s Environment Unit for 8 years. Darren’s work agenda spans a broad range of environmental issues. Some of the core areas of environmental policy and legislative developments to which Darren provides expert advice and knowledge address issues such as PRIs, hazardous wastes & chemicals. Darren sits on various national, EU & UN Committees engaged with policy and regulatory developments and implementation issues on WEEE, RoHS, persistent organic pollutants & mercury. He has also been a member of various EPA Research Steering Committees on topics such as nanotechnology, reuse of WEEE, WEEE recycling & air quality.

Michael Owens

I have worked in environmental authorisation, enforcement and assessment with the Environmental Protection Agency for over 20 years. I am currently leading the EPA’s Producer Responsibility team. We lead nationally on enforcement of the obligations that apply to the various regulated sectors within the Producer Responsibility Initiatives for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), batteries and tyres. We are involved in other activities such as developing compliance guidance, communication and awareness raising and research. The team is also currently working to build relationships with colleagues across the EU. Previously I have worked in areas such environmental licensing, the Extractive Waste Directive and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).






  • Louise Clune (Aughinish Alumina)
  • Brian Donlon (EPA)