Blurring the Lyons between Industry and Research

Dr. Pádraig Lyons is the Head of Group in the International Energy Research Centre (IERC) at Tyndall National Institute. Pádraig has had a varied career and he shares with us his background and progression to his current position. 


What is your current role?
I’m the Head of Group at the International Energy Research Centre (IERC). All my training is in electrical and electronic engineering, but I’ve now broadened the scope of what I do to include lots of interdisciplinary work across multiple areas of the energy landscape including business models, energy policy and multi-vector energy systems. 


What path led you here?
I’ve worked in consultancy, industry and in research. I’ve always been interested in every aspect of energy engineering and in more recent years, the politics and policies of energy. This includes attempts to mitigate climate change. My role in IERC allows me to bring all these different aspects of my career and experience together.


Did you have a role model who influenced your career choice?
Once I entered research, my PhD supervisor, Professor Phil Taylor, at Durham University, had a significant influence. We both shared strong accents (he was from Middlesbrough and I am from Kanturk!) in contrast to many of our colleagues, who had polished British accents. We also had a less conventional route to roles in research and academia via significant stints in industry and consultancy. 

Phil is now Pro-Vice Chancellor at Bristol University UK, which is impressive considering he began his academic career 16 years ago, but more than anything, he inspired and strived to ensure that research should reflect the needs and address the challenges of society as a whole.  


How has working at Tyndall enabled you to fulfil your potential?
I re-joined the research arena just a year ago, so I think I’m a work in progress! 

Working with the diverse and talented research team in IERC and the greater Tyndall research organisation has opened up my eyes to lots of possibilities and collaborations, so I’m looking forward to the future. 


What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way!