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Three Queen’s students receive Fulbright awards to research and teach in the US

An Tánaiste and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD, and Chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Ireland, Reece Smyth, recently announced 37 Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2018-2019.

Recipients were presented with Awards at a Ceremony in the US Ambassador's Residence, Phoenix Park, on Thursday 7 June 2018.

Students, academics and professionals from 13 Higher Education Institutions in Ireland and Europe will go to 33 leading US institutions to study and collaborate with experts in their fields.

Among the Queen's University award winners were Ms Róisín Hyde, Mr Padraig McGonagle and Dr Kerron Ó Luain.

Ms Róisín Hyde is an architect and doctoral research student at the School of Natural and Built Environment. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from UCD and became a Chartered Member of The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. Her current research focuses on the development of a prototype high-performance, low-impact, cement-free geopolymer concrete cladding panel through the use of innovative automated technologies including 3D Laser Scanning, Point Cloud Modelling and 3D Printing. As a Fulbright PhD research student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she will work with Professor Brett Tempest in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Professor Rachel Dickey in the School of Architecture to produce a full-scale prototype panel using local industrial by-product and waste materials.

Speaking about the award, Ms Hyde said:

"I am greatly honoured to have been awarded the 2018 Fulbright-EPA Student Scholarship, which will enable me to collaborate with U.S.-based academics at the forefront of sustainable construction research. Concrete is the second most widely used material in the world after water, and second also to fossil fuels as the highest contributor to global carbon dioxide emissions. Given the immediacy and scale of its impact on our planet, it is essential that we prioritise the development of sustainable, alternative cementitious concrete materials for use in construction. I am therefore extremely grateful to both the Irish Fulbright Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency for their support of my research."

Fulbright-EPA Award Winners 2018-2019
Ms Róisín Hyde (second right)
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) Award Winners 2018-2019
Mr Padraig McGonagle (bottom left) and Dr Kerron Ó Luain (bottom centre)

Mr Padraig McGonagle, a PhD student from the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, is from Derry City and has a strong affinity with that city and County Donegal. His greatest interests are the Irish language and History, and he has studied both of these subjects since he began attending Queen's in 2009. He has since obtained a BA, MA, PGCE and a certificate in bilingual education. He is a qualified teacher and has experience of teaching Irish at every level of the education system. He is currently completing his PhD thesis on 'Éamon de Valera, the Irish language and linguistic nationalism' at Queen's. He wrote a monthly column in the magazine An tUltach from 2011 until 2016 and his essays and poetry have been published in Feasta, An tUltach and Comhar. During his Fulbright FLTA Award, he will teach the Irish language and take classes at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Dr Kerron Ó Luain, a post-doctoral research student, will teach the Irish language and take classes at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since being conferred with his doctorate from Queen's in 2016, which addressed popular Catholic mentalities and lower-class movements such as Ribbonism, Dr Ó Luain has been busy researching the Ancient Order of Hibernians, in particular their transnational dimensions. He will therefore also be undertaking research in this area while in Villanova, where the Falvey Memorial Library houses an abundance of records on Irish-American history, Hibernianism and the long-standing links between the US and Ireland.

An Tánaiste and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD, said:

"I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to the 37 Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2018-2019. People are at the heart of the extraordinary relationship between Ireland and the United States, and the Fulbright Commission has an unrivalled record in selecting the very best people as Fulbrighters. This year's Awardees will have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the US, to forge new relationships, and to represent the best of contemporary Ireland to the United States. I wish this year's Awardees every success for their time in the United States."

Chargé d'affaires Reece Smyth, US Embassy, said:

"I warmly congratulate the 2018-2019 cohort of Irish Awardees. The Fulbright Awards are highly competitive, globally recognised, and associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have such bright minds embarking on educational and cultural exchanges to the United States, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their studies and research when they return to Ireland."

For those staff and students interested in applying for the 2019-2020 Fulbright Student, Scholar and FLTA Awards, a workshop will be held in The Graduate School on Tuesday 17 July 2018 (and also accessible online as a live-broadcast webinar).

Further details of the event will be available in due course shortly at the following webpage:

For more information on the Fulbright program, please visit: or