Dr. Declan McCormack 

Dr Declan McCormack

Dr McCormack completed his BA (Mod) in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) and his PhD in Chemistry/Material Science under the direction of Prof John Kelly and Dr Michael Lyons at TCD and Dr Michel Pineri at the Centre d’Etudes Nucleaire de Grenoble. He was appointed as Head of School of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2005. Declan is active in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. He acts as Institute representative on Dublin Regional Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA) Chemistry Pilot at 4th level and PRTLI Cycle V Strand 2 initiative to establish a 4th level Graduate School in Chemistry (GradChem) in Dublin in collaboration with UCD & TCD. He has been active in the development and delivery of Labour Market Activation programmes at level 7 and 9.

Declan was the Irish representative on the EU FP6 Framework project: “Improving the understanding of the impact of nanoparticles on human health and the environment”, http://www.impart-nanotox.org/ completed in November 2008. He acts as referee and adjudicative referee for 16 academic journals. He is the Academic Director of the Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology (CREST) which has won many awards for commercialisation of research. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry in Ireland.

Robert Hickson

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Based in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Robert is General Manager of VitrA Ireland, Ireland’s only ceramic tile manufacturing company.    Formerly R&D Manager at bathroom ware manufacturer Qualceram Shires PLC with responsibility for new product and process development, he initiated tile manufacturing within the Group and served on the Board prior to his appointment as GM in 2001.   He has worked in the ceramics industry and the wood industry in France, Finland, Portugal, Turkey and the United States.
Robert is a Board Member of the European Ceramic Manufacturers Federation and serves on the Environment, Trade and Technical Committees for the ceramic industry in Europe.

Professor Declan Gilheany

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Professor Declan Gilheany is the author of more than 70 research papers, articles and patents in the area of organic synthesis, catalysis and phosphorus chemistry. His research interests lie in the general area of organic synthesis, for the construction of both useful and theoretically interesting molecules. Notable successes include:
1. Asymmetric Phosphine Oxidation. This unprecedented and useful reaction allows easy construction of P-stereogenic phosphorus ligands in large numbers and variety, which when complexed to metals (e.g. Rh, Ru), give best-in-class catalysts for asymmetric hydrogenation of dehydro-amino acids. This is being commercialised via a start-up company, Celtic Catalysts, of which he is a Principal;
2. Catalytic asymmetric alkene epoxidation using metal salen complexes as catalysts.  This methodology provides a "green" chemistry methodology for a well-known transformation;
3. Catalytic asymmetric oxidation to access novel sugars with potential therapeutic value;
4. Unification of the mechanism of the Wittig reaction and a easy, clean work-up of it.
Celtic Catalysts (www.CelticCatalysts.com) is an innovative venture capital backed company that has developed ground-breaking IP-protected chemistry enabling clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech and fine chemicals industries to realise significant manufacturing cost savings. The company has 14 employees, split between research functions in Belfield, Dublin and production in Wilton, NE England. It has research strengths in enantioselective synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, P-stereogenicity and organometallic chemistry. Its chemists have a broad spectrum of experience in production, process development, medicinal chemistry route development, chiral HPLC method development and preparative HPLC. It has a very successful line of unnatural amino acid building blocks for peptide drugs, having recently introduced a world-record Rh hydrogenation catalyst for which it won the Irish Times 2011 Innovation Award.

John Menton

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Computers and Software; Internet and New Media; Life Sciences Intellectual Property; Encryption; Inward Investment; Venture Capital for technology companies. John is head of the Technology and Intellectual Property practice group and specialises in representing a broad range of technology companies from domestic start ups through to multinational household names. He gained his primary experience dealing with technology companies from North America establishing in Ireland when he was in charge of the Arthur Cox New York Office for over three years from 1996 to 1999. In addition to practicing law John is also a keen sportsman and represented Ireland in the Discus at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Dara Fitzpatrick






Dara started his training in the newly opened IT Tallaght in 1992 where his favourite lecturer was Brian Murray! Following a diploma with distinction he finished his degree in Athlone Institute before continuing with a Ph.D in Transdermal Drug Delivery under Professor John Corish in Trinity College Dublin. Then followed a European Framework V Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Predictive Modelling of Drug Transport before moving to University College Cork to take up a lectureship in Analytical Chemistry. There he has specialised in spectroscopy and in particular in a totally new acoustic spectroscopic method called Broadband Acoustic Resonance Dissolution Spectroscopy or BARDS. Last year he earned a nomination for the ‘One to Watch’ Award for the progress and high potential of his work.

Dr. Andy Gray

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Dr Andy Gray is the Senior Licensing Executive at Hothouse, the industry leading technology transfer office at DIT. Since joining DIT in 2008, Andy has identified, valued, marketed and pitched 50+ early stage technologies nationally and internationally and evaluated hundreds more from diverse sectors. He has also managed multiple funding applications to secure €1m+ for DIT research and industrial collaboration and helped shape  DIT and State Agency policy on wide ranging issues including technology / knowledge transfer, company formation and intellectual property. More recently, in 2010, Andy negotiated 11 commercial licenses and led the formation of three DIT start-up companies.

 Previously, Andy spent seven years as a Corporate Finance Executive with IIU, Dermot Desmond’s Dublin-based private equity company. Andy specialised in technology investments, considered hundreds of opportunities across a wide variety of sectors, and played key roles in a number of multi-million euro investments including D-Wave (a Canadian Quantum Computer Company), Acision (the world’s leading SMS/MMS technology provider), Amarin (a company developing drugs for neurodegenerative diseases) and Pace Soft Silicon (a mobile video software company that was sold to nVidia). Andy also managed a number of IIU portfolio investments and in particular, offered key strategic and commercial advice to Daon, a global leader in identity management technology.

 Prior to IIU, Andy was a senior engineer with Mason Communications, a leading UK telecoms and IT consultancy, where he managed a number of projects including Mason’s contribution to an EU 5th framework program developing next generation fibre optic networks. Andy has a BSc (Hons) in Applied Physics and PhD in Atomic Physics from DCU. He also has a Certificate and Diploma in Corporate Finance from theInstituteofChartered AccountantsinEnglandand Wales (ICAEW).

Mr. Jim Lawler

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 LinkedIn Profile here.