Professor Brian G. Falzon joined Queen’s University Belfast in 2013 as the Royal Academy of Engineering – Bombardier Chair in Aerospace Composites and is currently the Head of School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Between 2008 and 2012 he was the Foundation Chair in Aerospace Engineering at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where he was also Director of Research and Head of the Aerospace Engineering programmes. Between 1996 and 2008, Prof Falzon was at Imperial College London where he joined as a postdoctoral research fellow before becoming an academic staff member. Prof Falzon is the Director of the Advanced Composites Research Group at Queen’s and is internationally renowned for his work on the computational analysis, design, manufacture and testing of advanced composite aerostructures. He has published over 180 peer reviewed journal/conference papers and book chapters, one book, and edited three others. In 2008 Prof Falzon was awarded the George Taylor Prize by the Royal Aeronautical Society for the best paper published in 2007 in the design, construction, production and fabrication of aircraft structures. In 2009 he was honoured with an Australian Leadership Award, in recognition of his contribution to issues of national importance and demonstrated leadership in his field. He is a Chartered Engineer, a member of a number of professional organisations/scientific committees, and sits on the Editorial Board of three journals.
Conor McCarthy is Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Limerick and is the Director and Principal Investigator of Confirm, a Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Smart Manufacturing. Having grown up in Glasnevin, Dublin, Professor McCarthy has spent the best part of the last 20 years in the Mid-west region carrying out research into joining dissimilar materials for high-end industrial applications. Professor McCarthy leads a research group, who are developing novel methods to join high performance composite materials to other lightweight materials, to result in structures with superior strength and stiffness properties, and with only a fraction of the weight compared to typical steel or aluminium structures. This work has attracted over €6million in competitively won research funding from Europe, Irish research funding agencies and both national and international Industries. His research has led to over 150 high impact publications and a patent pending on a new smart glue that can be “unzipped” using only high-frequency radio waves for applications in automotive assembly down to dental implants.