Monday, October 21 14:48:27
The official opening of phase 2 of the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science at University College Dublin took place on Friday.
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 E300 million; made up of state funding (PRTLI 5, HEA), private philanthropy, and university funds.
The UCD O'Brien Centre for Science now boasts in excess of 38,000m sq of new and refurbished accommodation at an overall cost of almost E175m.
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.
The development was officially opened by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D., with a special guest lecture by Professor Brian Cox OBE, who is widely credited for making science both accessible and exciting for all ages and backgrounds.
Professor Cox 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.