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Published on 15.12.14

Dr. Rachel Evans Awarded Young Leader of the Year

Dr. Rachel Evans and Annalisa Montesanti, Programme Manager, Health Research Board

Dr. Rachel Evans, Associate Investigator at CRANN, Ireland’s flagship nanoscience institute, Trinity College and Assistant Professor, School of Chemistry, Trinity College, Dublin, has been awarded The Irish Laboratory Awards’ ‘Young Leader of the Year’.  The award recognises Dr. Evans as a young lab leader who has the potential to make a significant contribution to science. The award was presented at a ceremony hosted in Dublin, where the best of Ireland’s laboratory industry were recognised.

Dr. Evans established the Materials & Device Photochemistry Group in 2011 and her drive and passion for innovative science and fostering the next generation of scientists has seen this grow to a team of ten in just three years.  This growth is a direct result of successful research funding applications by Dr. Evans to Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Research Council, which has led directly to the creation of these new research positions. Dr. Evans has raised €700,000 in research funding during her independent research career.

Commenting on receipt of her prize, Dr. Evans said, “I am honoured to receive the Irish Laboratory Awards’ ‘Young Leader of the Year’.  The aim of our group is to conduct world-class scientific research and academic training in the field of photoactive materials for light emitting displays, sensors and energy applications.

Dr. Evans’ current research focus looks to design and develop new materials known as luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) which may provide a route to more efficient solar cells at reduced cost. The advantage of LSCs is that they work even under diffuse sunlight conditions and as such are excellent candidates for the development of building-integrated solar cells that function efficiently in the cloudy Irish urban environment.

Dr. Evans concluded: “Materials chemistry is not always the most easily understood of topics and this award will help draw attention to our achievements in this competitive field.  I must thank all my colleagues in CRANN and the School of Chemistry for their continued commitment to research innovations and I look forward to realising a number of our projects over the coming year.

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