Dr Ibrahim Saana Aminu and Dr Ahmad Ziaee based at UL’s Department of Chemical Sciences and Bernal Institute will receive funding to pursue their research within industry.  The SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme along with co-funding from industry partners will support the temporary placement of the two academic researchers at their companies.

Dr Ahmad Ziaee’ s project will investigate using novel biocompatible coatings on the surface of 3D-printed hip and knee implants produced by DePuy Synthes, Ireland at their Cork facility. This work will improve implant bioactivity, and make them even more compatible with the body, thereby reducing the risk of failure in 3-D printed implants.  The project will enable the production of highly sought after complex 3-D printed implants, which have not been accessible to the market to date.  The hip implants will be used in patients with osteoarthritis or hip injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis or bone tumours and the knee implants will be used to treat Osteoarthritis. Dr Ziaee will work with Dr Emmet O’Reilly, who is a lecturer in polymer chemistry in the Department of Chemical Sciences and a member of the Bernal Institute.

Dr Ibrahim Saana Aminu will work with Professor Kevin Ryan and Analog Devices Limerick on the design and characterisation of materials for advanced magnetic sensors for the automotive, fibre optic, computer and medical devices industry. Reliability, low-cost and lower-power consumption with high sensitivity and selectivity are the key requirements for the application of these sensors. The partners will pioneer the use of advanced failure analysis techniques to address manufacturing challenges which arise due to the complex architectures and miniaturisation of the novel sensors.  The project will play a key role in reducing new technology development cycle time and accelerates the speed at which Analog Devices gets its products to the market, with a direct impact on revenue and global competitiveness within the semiconductor industry.  Dr Aminu is an award-winning Chemical Scientist, and a Marie Curie Fellow with expertise in semiconductor nanowire materials for energy storage applications.  Professor Ryan is the theme leader for the Molecular/Nano cluster at the Bernal Institute and holds a Personal Chair in Chemical Nanotechnology.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD announced this week, the €2.1 million Fellowship programme, which is designed to help kick-start postdoctoral academic researchers’ careers in industry and to maximise the impact of their training. The programme also supports academic faculty researchers who want to spend time in industry alongside their academic responsibilities. Simultaneously, the placement will allow industry partners to benefit from their research fellows’ knowledge to collaborate on bringing innovative solutions to industry challenges.

Director of the Bernal Institute Luuk van der Wielen, welcomed the announcement, “I am delighted to see the strengthening of the collaborations with two of our industry partners through the SFI Industry Fellowships of Ahmad Ziaee and Ibrahim Saana Aminu. The fellowships are an effective mechanism to contribute to the translational ambition of the Bernal Institute to support our industrial partners.”

Applications for the 2022 SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship call are now open with two submission deadlines. The first submission deadline is on 18 May 2022; the second submission deadline is on 19 October 2022,  click here for details.