Core Team


Professor Brian Norton, Head of Energy Research

Head of Energy Research

Professor Brian Norton DSc MRIA FIAE was appointed the Head of Energy Research at IERC in July 2020.

He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s highest academic distinction, and a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers. His awards include; the CIBSE Napier Shaw Medal for the development of the degree-hour building energy-use correlation; the Energy Institute’s Roscoe Award which recognised his research comparing the embodied environmental impact of all renewable and non-renewable energy sources and the American Association of Publishers PROSE Award for the book “Comprehensive Renewable Energy”. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Solaris Conference series and “Solar Energy” Journal Best Paper Award in Photovoltaics.

He is currently a Principal Investigator in MaREI, the Irish national research centre for Energy, Climate and Marine and leads its Energy Efficiency research area. He is an Honorary Professor at Universities in Northern Ireland, Harbin and Beijing, China and Houston, USA. He has given numerous invited and keynote lectures including to the Maddox series at Texas Tech University, the Solar Energy Seminar Series at Purdue University, the GIAN initiative, India and the Annual David Hall Memorial Lecture to the United Kingdom Solar Energy Society. He is currently Vice-President and Treasurer of the European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance and serves on the Steering Committee of the Daylight Academy. He has led international collaborative research programmes, IEA and COST activities. He has undertaken strategic reviews of energy research; including those for the UK, Estonia and several universities internationally.

Professor Norton has supervised over fifty doctorates. He is author of over 200 peer-reviewed journal research papers and over 270 conference papers. His research outputs have received over 10,000 citations with an h-index of 51.

As Secretary for Policy and International of the Royal Irish Academy, he serves on the European Academies Science Advisory Committee (EUSAC). He is a member of the EASAC Energy Panel and co-chairs it’s activity on Decarbonisation of Buildings.

As immediate past-President of Dublin Institute of Technology, he played a major role in the creation of Technological University Dublin and in the realisation of its flagship Dublin city-centre campus at Grangegorman. Previously he held posts at Ulster and Cranfield Universities. Originally qualified as a Physicist, he holds Doctorates in Engineering from Cranfield and Nottingham Universities.

 

Further details can be found on:

 

 


Brian O’Regan, Senior Research Engineer

Senior Research Engineer

Brian joined the team in 2016, and has a Masters in Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, both from University College Cork.

Brian is head of the Software for Integrated Energy Research Application (SIERRA) Group, whose primary aim is to deliver intuitive transparent software applications that contribute to the digitalisation of the energy sector, and promote the use of software in efficient management of energy processes. Additionally, SIERRA aims to contribute to strategic energy research and the role software and systems can play in their development and operation.

He is PI of the Cooperative Energy Trading System (CENTS) project, a project funded under the Irish Governments Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), which aims to provide a mechanism for trading of electricity from renewable energy sources. In addition, he is the IERC Principal Investigator of the BIM4EEB H2020 project, which will develop and demonstrate a Building Information Modelling (BIM) toolkit for Efficient Renovation in Buildings. He is a Technical Committee member of the NSAI (NSAI/TC 002/SC 16 “Blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies”) and subtask lead on the IEA DSM TCP Global Observatory on Peer-to-Peer, Community Self-Consumption & Transactive Energy Models.

Brian’s research interests are in Data Analytics, Building Energy Performance, Blockchain, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and AI/ML.

Further details can be found on:


Carlos Ochoa, Senior Researcher

Dr Carlos Ochoa joined the IERC as a Building Energy Senior Researcher, after previous participation in FP7 and H2020 projects with Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He obtained his doctoral and master’s degrees from the same institute on the subject of architectural planning of intelligent facade elements. Additionally, he had a postdoctoral stay at Eindhoven University of Technology where he researched on visual and thermal comfort. His Bachelor studies are in Architecture, having graduated from Universidad Centroamericana “Jose Simeon Canas” of El Salvador. He has ample experience in building energy modelling with leading packages such as EnergyPlus. His research focus is on balancing energy savings with user quality, and is also knowledgeable of sustainable design of climate-adaptable buildings using both passive and active technologies.

Further details can be found on:

 


Jo Southernwood, Senior Research Engineer

Low Carbon Energy Solutions Researcher

Jo is a skilled energy researcher and project manager who joined the IERC in February 2017. With over 15 years’ experience of working in the energy efficiency and low carbon technology sectors, Jo has a deep understanding of the challenges associated with building services and energy management. In her role at IERC, Jo leads the Integrated Energy Services team, whose primary focus is integrating new technologies with innovative, service based business models that will drive the transition to a low carbon economy.

After graduating from Cambridge with an MEng in Chemical Engineering, Jo took the decision to specialise in energy and carbon management and took part in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership working with a food manufacturer and the London South bank University to gain a further MSc in Sustainable Development for SMEs. This early role gave her an excellent understanding of the challenges faced by businesses wanting to improve their environmental credentials and would be invaluable experience for her future career.

Over the course of her career, Jo has worked as an energy specialist both for other consultancies and her own business. Her experience includes developing climate change strategies, coordinating European collaborative projects, conducting renewable & low carbon technology feasibility studies, and carrying out energy audits for a range of clients including public sector bodies, property management companies, manufacturing facilities and retailers.

At IERC, Jo’s role is to combine her commercial experience with her research capabilities to develop practicable energy related solutions for industry. She coordinated the recently completed NOVICE project which validated a new business model for energy efficient building renovations through Energy Performance Contracting by combining savings from energy efficiency with revenues from providing demand response services to the grid. Jo also coordinates the SPEEDIER project which is developing a one-stop-shop solution that provides outsourced energy management services to SMEs and tests a self-financing mechanism to fund implementation of energy saving measures.

Further details can be found on:


Piyush Verma, Senior Energy Policy Analyst

Piyush leads the policy & regulatory innovation work at the International Energy Research Centre. He works on the intersection of technology, policy, and society, and has significant expertise on energy and climate policies as well as policies around frontier technologies to accelerate our efforts towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He has previously worked in India, Vanuatu, and New Zealand on researching, developing and implementing energy transition policies.

He has also published several articles and op-eds on energy & climate change issues, and has spoken internationally on the need of a transformational vision and disruptive leadership to bring innovations in policy formulation, coordination, and implementation.

He has been selected as Global Future Energy Leader by the World Energy Council, London in 2018 where he regularly contributes on energy transition policies and represent Ireland in global energy dialogues. He also works as Vice-Chair of the Energy Efficiency Expert Group at United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and as Regional Ambassador for Ireland in the Global Blockchain Business Council.

Piyush is an Electrical Engineer with a postgraduate in Power Systems and has a PhD in Energy Efficiency Technology and Policy from The University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has also completed a Policy Design and Delivery Programme from Harvard Kennedy School and another programme on 21st Century Public Policy Challenges from University of Virginia, USA.

Further details can be found on:

 

 


Shafi K Khadem, Senior Researcher

Senior Researcher

Dr. Shafi Khadem leads the EDGE (Embedded and Distributed Generation Systems) group in IERC. He is research active in the area of micro and intelligent grid networks with special focus on grid stability and power quality, embedded & distributed generation systems integration, and smart energy communities. He has more than 18 years of research and 2 years of teaching experiences in universities, international organizations and industries in multi-disciplinary teams. Before joining the IERC, Shafi was an IRCSET post-doctoral research fellow and jointly worked with Trinity College Dublin (IE) and Integrated Environmental Solutions (UK) on smart energy management systems for buildings, especially on energy efficient harmonic load and renewable energy systems modelling with power quality analysis in virtual environment. Shafi holds a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology (IE).

He has already contributed as a researcher and lead-researcher in different national (such as IRCSET, EI, HEA) and international (such as (UNEP, JICA, EU FP7) funded research projects. He led the Electricity Transmission System Leadership Training Course for top management staff of the newly created Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency (ARSEL) – Cameroon. He has been a PI – MiFIC (IERC), StoreNet (IERC and Industry fund), and PASSAGE (EI and Industry fund) projects, WP lead – PANTERA (PAN European Technology Energy Research Approach, H2020), BEYOND (EU ERA-NET SES) projects, Technical oversight and task lead – cPAD, ImpRESS projects, National lead – IEA Task GO-P2P. By this time, he has secured over €2m in research funding.

He has developed close collaboration with several organizations, international (such as UNEP, TERI (IN), UTRC (IE), NREL (USA), JICA (JP)), EU (such as SINTEF (NO), RSE (IT), IPE (LT), TUS (BG), DERLab (DE), DLR (DE), RISOE (DK), IES (UK), ICL (UK)), national (such as ESBN, UCD, EI, TCD, TUD) and SME’s (such as Solo, Amarenco, EI) etc.

He has supervised/mentored and provided training to number of undergrad/graduate/PhD students, post doctoral researchers and government/industry personnel on smart grid, RET, converter design, active power filtering, real time simulation etc. He has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and conference proceedings, has co-authored a book and other technical reports. He received recognition from different institutions including HEA (IE), ICTP (IT), EU Erasmus (UK), DIT (IE), IRCSET (IE), IEEE (USA).

Currently, also serving as an Expert in the evaluation panel of H2020 MSCA (IF). Involved as Member of different professional bodies, such as, IEEE Power Electronics, Power and Energy, Smart Grid Community.

He is also strongly involved in ETIP SNET (The European Technology & Innovation Platform Smart Networks for Energy Transition) Working Group 5 (Innovation implementation in the business environment) to support the development and implementation of ETIP SNET R&I roadmap 2020 to 2030.

Further details can be found on:


Andreea Le Cam, Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Andreea joined the IERC team in July 2019. Her role is to assist in projects on the subject of energy efficiency in buildings.

She has completed her education at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where she has received both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Building Engineering. During that period, she wrote a thesis about calibrating building energy models using the Building Energy Management System data.

She has previously worked as an Energy Efficiency Engineer with Natural Resources Canada, where she has been involved in the Greening Government Operations, a program which aims to reduce the GHG emissions of the federal government’s buildings. This role provided her with an in-depth understanding of energy and GHG emission policies, energy performance strategies, as well as practical experience in writing technical and high-level executive reports. She has also provided technical support for projects such as Energy Audits and Recommissioning projects.


Aziz Saif, Research Assistant

Aziz joined the IERC team in November, 2019. At IERC, his role will be to assist in projects related with renewable energy integration, smart grid, distributed energy resources.

Aziz received his Master’s degree in Power Engineering in KTH- Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Netherlands. He completed his Master’s thesis under Electrical Energy Systems (EES) Group, TU/e, Netherlands where he worked on the development of production cost model incorporating both uncertainty associated with wind power plants and flexibility offered by electric vehicles. Previously, he worked as a university faculty in Bangladesh for around four and a half years.

His research interests are focused on operation of power grid with high renewable generation, power system dynamics and stability, demand response, optimal sizing of energy storage.


Eimear Corridan, Centre Administrator

Centre Administrator

Eimear joined the IERC in January 2020. She is responsible for managing the day to day activities of the centre. Eimear has numerous years’ experience working in the multinational corporations, she has a knowledge in account management, client relations, event organization and administrative support at an executive level.


Eoin O’Leidhin, Research Engineer

Research Engineer

Eoin joined the team in December 2017, and has a Masters in Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering both from University of Limerick.

He previously worked with a heating distribution company, sizing and designing underfloor, wall and ceiling heating systems.

Eoin also worked for many years designing and developing website and software applications, including developing paperless form systems for energy audits and installations.

He has also previously worked as a Logistics Manager in the Educational Sector where he oversaw energy improvements and developing a long-term sustainability plan for the college.

Eoin’s role is to assist on various SIERRA Group projects.


Fábio Silva, Research Engineer

Fabio joined EIRC team in October 2020, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from FATEC/SP in Brazil, an International Executive MBA in E-business from FGV in Brazil (in partnership with Ohio University/USA), a Postgraduation in Software Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica/ITA in Brazil, a Professional Master’s in Management and Technology in Production Systems from CEETEPS in Brazil and a PhD Researcher position from the School of Electronic Engineering at Dublin City University in Ireland.

Fábio has extensive professional experience, as consultant and entrepreneur (having worked in 5 start-up companies – and as co-founder in two of them). He pioneered the use of multimedia and touch-screen technologies developing hardware, software and services all over Brazil. Later, Fábio had worked in start-up companies of different industries in Brazil: logistics, e-commerce, system integration, EDI solutions, fintech, critical transactional systems and credit cards.

In 2016, Fábio was invited to a PhD programme at Dublin City University (having spent his first PhD year allocated at Universidad San Pablo in Madrid, Spain), and his research comprehends a broad range of technologies, such as Virtual Reality communication performance, Mulsemedia, distributed and scalable e-learning infrastructure, Internet of Things and more.

Fábio’s research has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grants 688503 and 870610, and by Science Foundation Ireland grants 13/RC/2094 (Lero), 16/SP/3804(ENABLE) and 12/RC/2289_P2 (Insight). His research presentations and project support gave him the opportunity to participate in many conferences and activities in Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and the USA. He also supported undergrads, masters and PhD students.

Fábio joined the International Energy Research (IERC), in October 2020, as a Research Engineer to assist the SIERRA Group projects supporting software applications development in building energy management and modelling.


Farah Tahir, Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Farah joined the IERC as a Research Assistant in May 2019. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (Web Systems Engineering), and is currently progressing with her Masters in Data Science and Analytics, both from University College Cork.

Previously, as part of her undergraduate degree, she had worked as an intern in the software team with the IERC for the duration of her internship in 2017. At the time she was assisting in the projects, developing web applications, and building a software tool for executing energy audits and for measuring and verifying achieved energy savings.

Currently, Farah’s role is to assist in the IERC projects, particularly focusing on the software and data analytics areas


Karen Mould, Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Karen obtained a bachelors degree in Marine Environmental Science from Portsmouth University, after which she spent several years researching coastal environments as a marine biologist, as well working in coastal, marine and heritage tourism.

Karen also holds a higher diploma in Applied Computing Technology, and a MSc in Interactive Media from UCC.

Karen’s interests include ecology, sustainability and technology


Lorena Sanchez, Intern

Lorena  joined in October 2019 the IERC as an intern as part of her Master’s Programme in Energy Engineering (with a specialty inRenewable Energies)  at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, where she got previously her Bachelor’s Degree in Energy Engineering too.

During the last year, she has collaborated as a researcher in the Department of Energy & Fuels of her university in studies related to Life Cycle Assessment of the Spanish Electricity Mix, which constitutes the topic of her Bachelor’s and Master’s Thesis.

She has also worked in Madrid as Technical Manager in a company that designs and operate PV plants, participating in  the management of PV plants connected to the grid in Spain, in addition to  projects of self-consumption in South America and Middle East, as well as in  isolated grids in Zambia.

Currently, Lorena is part of the Embedded Distributed Generation Systems Team in the IERC, where she is working in the research and development of local energy networks projects in Ireland and other countries of the EU


Maeve McGinn, Project Coordinator

Project Coordinator

Maeve has over ten years’ experience of working in a research environment, including the position of Technology Centre Coordinator for the CCAN (Nanotechnology) and MCCI (Microelectronics) Technology Centres, and has spent the last 5 years working as a senior administrator and project coordinator for the IERC.  She has extensive experience of liaising with executive board members, external partners, client companies, funding bodies and suppliers.  Maeve is experienced in project management, finance management, event management, marketing and communications and her qualifications include a degree in Business in Accounting from Cork Institute of Technology.

 


Maria Lopez Zambrano, Researcher

Maria joined in October 2020 the IERC as a post-doctoral researcher in the area of Building Energy modelling to work on the European Commission-funded MiniStor Project. Prior to this role, she was working at MaREI based in NUIG in the NZEB retrofit project and she was also awarded the SFI Industry fellowship. In total more than 10 years working in research including a previous stage in Spain working at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and the University of Seville.

Maria holds a Ph.D. from the University of Seville (Spain) in on “Evaluation System for retrofitting solutions for energy saving in Historic Buildings”. She holds an MSc. in Techniques and Building System, specializing in energy efficiency and Passivhaus from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She granted a degree in Building Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and a degree in Technical Architect from the University of Seville. From this last University, she holds also postgraduate courses such as an Expert in Project Execution Architecture using BIM technology and University Expert in occupational risk prevention.

Maria is a certified Health and Safety coordinator in three specialties Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Ergonomics, and Psychosociology and also a Certified Passive House Designer from the Passive House Institute. She has industry experience working as a health and safety coordinator and a site manager in the restoration of Heritage buildings in Spain.


Mohamed Bahloul, Researcher

Mohamed joined the IERC team in March 2017 as a research engineer. He is involved in projects related to the smart grid, storage systems and renewable energy systems.  Mohamed holds a PhD in Electrical and System Control Engineering from the National School of Engineer on Sfax, Tunisia. He has a Masters degree in Modeling Information and Systems from the University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France, and a  Msc. in International Business Management from ESIEE and ESC, Amiens, France.

Before joining IERC, Mohamed was a Post-doctoral researcher and a teaching assistant at University of Sfax. He was also a visiting researcher at the University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France, and the Federal University of Technology of Paraná, Brazil. He has participated in many research projects and has published more than 10 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and conference proceedings. He is also a member of IEEE Industrial Application Society (IEEE-IAS).


Mohamed Daoud, Researcher

Mohamed Daoud joined the IERC team as a researcher in October 2019. He has more than 10 years of research experience. Prior to this role, he was a senior researcher at Qatar Foundation where he was involved in developing solutions for renewables, power converters, energy storage systems, and motor drives.

He holds a PhD from Politecnico Di Torino, Italy. Throughout his professional career, he has participated in several projects and published more than 20 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, conference proceedings and book chapters.

Dr. Daoud is a Senior IEEE Member.


Vanda Baršić, Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Vanda joined the IERC as a Research Assistant and is a part of the Policy & Regulatory Innovation Group providing support to the preparation of Irish and European energy market analysis reports with a view towards gathering key intelligence to support the IERC in its development and implementation of its industry led research project portfolio.

For the last seven years she is working and volunteering in the environmental sector and was involved in writing politics for the local waste management municipality. Last work experience was closely connected to the building services where she was providing BER technical support to the BER assessors under the SEAI governance. Vanda was working in the WEEE company as a technologist making sure the e-waste processes and implemented technology is following regulations and legislation guidelines. With a bioprocess engineering and environmental engineering educational background, she also found herself in the management of organic waste and its utilisation in the AD plant. Continuously, she is volunteering for a local SEC pulling the projects in the energy conservation and energy efficiency building sector as well as giving presentations to the local community in environmental conservation.


Rosemarie Mac Sweeney, Sustainability Advisor

Rosemarie’s career began in Architectural Technology in the 1990s, and she subsequently spent over a decade working in architectural and engineering practices in Cork and Dublin.

In the last decade Rosemarie has worked in academia and research, first as a lecturer and researcher at CIT, then as a researcher in UCC primarily working on EU funded (FP7 & Horizon2020) energy research projects.

Rosemarie’s educational qualifications include a Masters degree (by research) in Architecture from CIT, and two post graduate certificates in Sustainable Development and Environmental Sustainability from the University of Exeter and University College Dublin.

Her interests are sustainability, climate action, energy, the circular economy & sustainable resource use, project management, and empowering women


Ruchi Agrawal, Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Ruchi is a Bureau of Energy Efficiency (Govt. of India) Certified Energy Auditor and  holds first class Masters in Energy Studies from University of Pune, India as a scholar of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India.

Previous to joining the IERC, Ruchi worked with Energy auditing firms based out of Bangalore, India in the field of Energy Audit and have carried out several projects including Electrical Health Analysis, Electrical and Fire Safety Analysis, Utility Bill Analysis, Energy Consumption Analysis of Various Electrical Utilities.

In addition, she has worked for India’s first Parabolic Trough Technology Solar Thermal Power Plant Project based out of Rajasthan as a Project Coordinator.

 

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