Project Team

EPA Funded Research Project at the University of Limerick

Dr. Ronan Courtney

Dr Ronan Courtney is a Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences and member of the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He is widely published in the area of environmental management and monitoring of bauxite residue. Ronan completed his PhD in 2002 investigating techniques for the modification of bauxite residue to support plant growth on decommissioned residue disposal areas. He was engaged as a Senior Research Fellow from 2005 – 2013 overseeing revegetation and monitoring of restored bauxite residues at the Rusal Aughinish refinery in Limerick, Ireland. Since 2012 Ronan is also the principal investigator on an International Aluminium Institute / Rusal Aughinish co-funded project examining the potential of constructed wetlands for treating alkaline leachates emanating from residue disposal areas.

Dr. Lisa Maria T. O’Donoghue

Dr. O’Donoghue is a Ph.D. Scientist who has received the Young Entrepreneur of Year Award, Molex-Kriebel Award for Innovation in Global Business and Technology and the JCI Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award in Science and Technology  in Ireland. Dr. O’Donoghue holds a first class honours degree in Materials Science and Technology and a doctorate in High Temperature Technology in Aero Gas Turbines Engine applications.

Dr. O’Donoghue possesses the skills of strategising and leading research in her field of expertise, materials science, metallurgy and technology development. She is the lead inventor of the LCD recycling equipment developed while leading the research project at the University of Limerick. She has since set up a spin out company Votechnik and has licenced the technology to take it to the global market. In 2011, She successfully lead the company to take Best High Growth Company on the Island of Ireland at the InterTrade All Island Seedcorn Business competition and has secured investment for the company. Votechnik has been awarded a €1.6 million EC project to launch the technology on the European market.

She has a varied background in leading industrial focused research in multidisciplinary fields such as metallurgy, electrochemistry and hydrometallurgy, automated recycling systems, abrasives technology, process optimisation of industrial electroplating systems, development of high temperature gas turbine coating systems , and development of a manufacturing process for shape memory alloys for biomedical stents. She has significant experience in both working with and managing teams in the above sectors, as well as designing industrial projects, work and task planning, budget / financial and IP management. Dr. O’Donoghue has raised over 3 million funding over the last 5 years and has 4 patents granted and an additional 2 pending across the manufacturing and biomedical fields. She currently lectures in materials for the School of Engineering and coordinates the Raw Materials Research Group the University of Limerick.

Teresa Curtin

Teaching Duties Teaching Chemistry to all 1st year scientists and engineers. Also delivers modules entitled “Environmental Catalysts” and “Clean Technology” to 4th year Environmental Science students. Research Activities:  Current research interests are in the area of materials, catalysis and adsorption. The work has been funded by agencies such as the HEA, EU, SFI, EPA, Rusual Alumina, IAI, UL Foundation, CES department etc…). 15 students have graduated (12 PhD and 3 MSc students) and 2 PhD students are currently working on these projects. Some of these research projects include The development of a Pt based catalyst for the hydrogenation of edible oils: The overall aim was to develop catalysts that limit the formation of trans fatty acid formation. The work was carried out in conjunction with DeSmet Spain and Bisser Olivia Bulgaria Development of a Pt catalyst for the conversion of furfural for upgrading of biomass. the development of copper and Pt based regenerable catalytic adsorbents for the treatment of organic compounds in wastewaters CO2 capture from flue gas streams using a range of solid sorbents based on silica and amines. This work was been carried out in conjunction with Glantreo, Cork. Constructed wetlands for treatment of alkaline leachate from bauxite residue disposal areas. This work is being carried out in conjunction with Rusual Alumina, Limerick


John Mulcahy

Mr John Mulcahy is a Principal Investigator and Research Project Manager in the MOSAIC Group. As an EC Project Manager he has worked with 33 Partners from 16 countries many of whom have been SME’s, large companies and MNC’s. He has experience as the project manager on five FP7/H2020 UL coordinated projects (BioElectricSurface, DIBANET, LANIR, DEMA, IBUS) and also in partnering in EU projects (SANOWORK, SUN, ReVolv). He also worked as Project Manager for multi-million Government and Industry funded Innovation Partnership projects. As a Principal Investigator his key research areas are Automation, Recycling, and Risk.


Dr. Éva Ujaczki

Dr Éva Ujaczki is a qualified Biochemical engineer (PhD, MSc, BSc) with 7 years’ industry based R&D experience. She is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Limerick and a research assistant of European Innovation Partnership focused on advanced metal recovery (BRAVO) at the University of Limerick. Her area of interest and expertise are study of structures and chemical properties of materials, recovery of economically important elements: Sc, Ga, REEs, complex utilization of wastes, re-use of bauxite residue for soil improvement (e.g. in sandy soils, landfill covers), environmental toxicology, microbiology and integrated monitoring techniques.


Patricia Cusack

Patricia Cusack is a PhD candidate here in the University of Limerick, under the supervision of Dr. Ronan Courtney and Dr. Mark G. Healy (NUIG).   Patricia completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry and biological sciences, concurrent with teacher education here in the University of Limerick, in 2015.  She is currently in the final year of her PhD study, which is focussed on the re-use of bauxite residue, as an adsorbent for phosphate removal in wastewater.