Connolly Scientific Research Group is a family-run independent research group based in Ireland.
Dr. Ronan Connolly
- B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry with minor in Mathematics (University College Dublin, 2000)
- Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry (University College Dublin, 2003)
I have been interested in science since I was a teenager, and I received several awards in the Aer Lingus Young Scientists Exhibition (a popular national science competition for schoolchildren in Ireland) for my research into chloroplast migration in the Caulerpa floridana marine algae. Specifically, I received the Irish Professors of Botany Award in 1994 & 1995; the Institute of Biology Ireland Award in 1995 & 1996; and 1st prize in the Biological and Ecological Sciences Senior Individual category in 1995 & 1996.
I also was interested in mathematics (and competed in the Irish Mathematical Olympiad), and an avid computer programmer – in 1996, I came 4th in the Under-18 category of the IBM DCU All Ireland Schools Programming Competition, and I was awarded the Prof. Rykov Trophy for computer programming in 1994.
So, naturally, I studied science in college. I specialised in Chemistry, and I received the Bristol Myers Squibb Award for the best final year project (in the Measurement/Calculation section). But, at this stage I had become impressed by the great “polymaths” and realised that I wanted to be a multi-disciplinary scientist. So, when I was offered the chance to do a Ph.D. which combined chemistry, biophysics, polymer physics and computer modelling, I took it. My thesis was “Conformations of branched polymers”, for which I was awarded the BOC Gases Award for best Ph.D. research.
After my Ph.D., I began working with my father, Michael, on a number of topics. We have been researching and developing:
- New technologies and techniques for fish-farming, aquaponics and waste-water treatment
- Low cost heat-exchangers
- New energy efficient building materials and techniques
We have investigated the life cycles and spawning conditions for hundreds of species of fish, invertebrates and algae.
We began actively researching climate change in early 2009.
Along the way, I built several houses and buildings with Michael, and learnt a lot about different construction techniques.
Finally, I love music, and I am interested in history, archaeology and anthropology.
Dr. Michael Connolly
B.Sc., M.Sc., H.D.E., D.E.E., Ph.D.
I have lectured and tutored at third level in the fields of physics, chemistry, electronic engineering, computer science, mathematics and statistics.
I qualified as a plasterer in 1969 and as an electrician in 1970. I have done all of the building trades. In 1975, I built our first house entirely on my own. Since then, I have designed and built hundreds of buildings and houses.
In 1989, together with Imelda, I built, operated and owned the National Aquarium which at the time was the top privately-own tourist attraction in Ireland.
Since 1996, we have been carrying out fundamental research in the fields of physics, chemistry and biology, both in Ireland and in USA. I have been granted patents in aquaculture, wastewater treatment and heat exchangers. I have since relinquished my patent rights for these technologies to make them freely available to the public.
Our son, Ronan, joined us in this research full-time in 2004. Our other son (Stephen) and daughters (Orla and Leona) have also worked with us on this research from time-to-time.
We have also been designing new eco-friendly buildings and materials.
Dr. Imelda Connolly
- 1967-70: A.M.I. Mont. Dip & Sp. Ed. Dip, Maria Assumpta Training College
- 1988-1990: A. Mus. VCM, Victoria College of Music, London
- 1991-1992: Adv. Dip. Ed. (Special Needs in Education), Open University
- 1992-1993: Adv. Dip. Ed. (Child Development), Open University
- 1992-1994: M.A. (Education), Open University
- 1995-1998: Ph. D. (Computer Mediated Communication), National College of Ireland
Since 1970, I have been involved in all aspects of education from primary and secondary levels to teacher training and adult education.
Along with Michael, I co-founded the National Aquarium, and acted as the P.R. and Educational Officer for the aquarium.
Besides being involved in research projects with the group, my current main research interest is in Computer Mediated Communication and the social impact of new technologies.
I love music, and I play the concertina, piano, guitar and autoharp. I also enjoy textile art and gardening.
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