Established in 2016, the Bernal Institute is the largest research institute at the University of Limerick (UL).

Our Vision is to become the leading international research institute for the scientific design and manufacture of structured materials to meet global challenges, particularly in the areas of health, energy and the environment.

Our Mission is to develop disruptive technologies related Health, Energy and Environment that will create a legacy of scientific achievement in structured materials research that benefits future generations. 

Bernal’s research is built around its strengths, which include competencies in key areas, multidisciplinary teams of top world-leading researchers, a culture of industry engagement and enterprise creation, agility and flexibility, and state-of-the-art facilities. Through its pre-amalgamation entities – MSSI, Stokes and the Bernal Project – Bernal has a strong legacy of both entrepreneurship, in the form of patent applications and the incubation of spinout companies, and traditional research outputs, in the form of peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals.

Efforts to harness Bernal’s research strengths led to the establishment of four research clusters. A research cluster is defined as having a critical mass of researchers, at the centre of which are leading scientists and engineers. The cluster provides a conducive mentoring and training environment for junior colleagues, postdocs and graduate students in a multidisciplinary setting.


Bernal’s four research clusters are:

  • Molecular & Nano Materials (MOL)
  • Bio Materials (BIO)
  • Composite Materials (Composites)
  • Process Engineering (PROC)

The clusters are supported centrally by an operations support unit and by a team of instrument scientist staff dedicated to maintaining state-of-the-art equipment that is essential to the needs of the clusters’ scientists and engineers.

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Bernal Podcasts

    Open Science

    Seminar by Prof. Karel Luyben, former Rector Magnificus of TU Delft and an expert on Open Science. Listen and learn how to implement Open Science.

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