Dr Rick Officer appointed Vice President GMIT for Research and Innovation

Friday, January 22, 2016 Press Office
Press Release

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Rick Officer to the post of Vice President GMIT for Research and Innovation.

Dr Officer, who commenced his new position this month (January), joined GMIT in 2008 as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Science and became leader of the GMIT Marine and Freshwater Research Centre at the Dublin Road (Galway) campus. 

Dr Fergal Barry, President of GMIT, says: “I welcome the appointment of Dr Officer as Vice President GMIT for Research and Innovation. This appointment will continue to build on GMIT’s strong applied research track record which is central to GMIT plans to develop into a Technological University. I am confident that Dr Officer will grow the postgraduate research opportunities for our students and that he will make significant contributions to the applied research and innovation agenda of GMIT, an agenda which is central to support action on job creation across the West of Ireland.”

Prior to joining GMIT, Dr Officer was Science Leader for the Queensland Government’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, with responsibility for the co-ordinated management of the State’s Research, Development and Extension Programme; he was also leader of research and assessment teams for Ireland’s Marine Institute and Australian government agencies in Tasmania and Victoria.

Dr Officer’s research has focussed on enabling sustainability and improving productivity of harvested natural resources. He has extensive experience as Co-ordinator, Principal Investigator and Co-investigator on competitively funded national and international research projects and programmes.

Dr Officer explains his research philosophy: “Achieving high impact through research and innovation is all about applying excellent research capacity and fresh thinking to the key needs of society and industry. I really look forward to bringing these needs to the core of the research and innovation ethos at GMIT.”

A native of Australia, Dr Officer holds Bachelor of Science and PhD degrees from the University of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Third Level Learning and Teaching (Dublin Institute of Technology).

GMIT has two thriving Innovation Hubs, one in Galway and one in Mayo (Castlebar), and three dedicated research centres at the Galway city campus: Marine and Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC); the Galway Medical Device Technology Centre (GMedTech), and the Centre for the Integration of Sustainable Energy Technologies (CiSET).

The MRFC is comprised of academic staff (who teach on undergraduate courses), post-doctoral and post-graduate research staff, and Masters’ and PhD students. They carry out research projects in co-operation with agencies and industry, and provide expertise and advice to national and international bodies.

The GMedTech Centre is comprised of a multidisciplinary team who provide clinically inspired solutions to clinicians and the MedTech Sector. It has a recognised unique capacity for designing and developing advanced pre-clinically relevant in vitro simulators replicating various parts of the human anatomy. These simulators can prove the feasibility and accelerate the development of the next generation of medical devices and training platform for clinicians.

CiSET is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team who conduct applied research to design, integrate and demonstrate the potential of optimised sustainable energy solutions for the delivery of cost effective and reliable energy in cool-marine climate regions. The team have worked on applied research projects with both industrial and public organisations in areas such as energy auditing and monitoring, artificial intelligence in energy planning, and assessment of energy intensive industrial processes. 

For more information on GMIT Research & Innovation activities, see: http://www.gmit.ie/research/research