Tyndall National Institute

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Tyndall National Institute at UCC in Cork, Ireland named for John Tyndall, scientist, is one of Europe's leading research centres, specialising in ICT hardware research, commercialisation of technology and the education of next generation researchers. Tyndall has over 450 researchers, engineers, students and support staff focused on research and the commercialisation of technology through industry collaboration. Tyndall’s research spans a range of technologies from atoms to systems in the areas of photonics, microsystems and micro-nanoelectronics and addresses key challenges in the areas of Communications, Energy, Health and the Environment. Queen Elizabeth II visited the research centre as part of her state visit to Ireland on 20 May 2011.

Training Programme[edit]

Tyndall has focused its training programme to provide highly employable graduates, while simultaneously allowing a better understanding of the European research community and priority research and development goals driven by end-user requirements. Several of Tyndall graduates have moved to pursue successful careers (up to Vice President level) in leading manufacturing companies including Intel, Qualcomm, Lam Research, Analog Devices, Seagate.

Students in advanced manufacturing will join the more than 130 doctoral students at Tyndall engaged in multi-disciplinary research; this diverse and vibrant student community is recruited from undergraduate backgrounds in engineering, physics, chemistry and the life sciences. In fact one of the greatest flexibilities of the training programme is that it allows for a student in an aligned disciplined to develop ‘conversion’ training that rapidly introduces them to the world of convergent technologies at the interface between disciplines, while exposing them to design and application goals. At Tyndall, over 45 academic and research staff directly engage as primary PhD supervisors.

Technical modules can be selected from the local curriculum for the structured PhD (Engineering Science) offered by University College Cork. Additionally, students may avail of all relevant expertise available nationally through the provision of modules provided by leading national experts delivered through two graduate research programmes comprising both national and international leading 4th level institutions. The two programmes are the International Centre for Graduate Education in micro- & nano-Engineering (ICGEE) and INSPIRE Graduate Education programme whose combined Irish membership is made up of nine higher education institutions comprising University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Cork Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland Galway, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, University of Limerick, and Athlone Institute of Technology. Modules from these partners are made available to scholars through a national agreement for the accreditation of graduate modules enabled by the Irish Universities Association. These modules are hosted on a virtual learning environment and delivered on a ‘what make sense’ basis, e.g. as one week intensive on-site delivery, as interactive video conference offerings, networked interactive lecture offerings, or down-loadable lecture modules plus interactive problem solving sessions with the lecturers.

In addition to technical modules, each candidate is provided with options for training in innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurship, offered by the UCC faculty of College of Business and Law. Transferable skills training in presentation and lecturing skills, report and scientific writing, electronic literacy skills for on-line scientific literature and patent backgrounds, as well as scientific outreach and communication are also part of the curriculum.


The research centres are backed by a theory, modelling and design centre and a wafer fabrication facility with CMOS, III-V and MEMS capability. Many of Tyndall’s PhD graduates go on to pursue careers in industry and are respected for the quality of their research and development outputs. Tyndall is supported by funding from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Higher Education Authority. The CEO of Tyndall is Dr. Kieran Drain.

Established with a mission to support industry and academia in driving research to market, Tyndall National Institute is one of Europe’s leading research centres in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) research and development and the largest research facility of its type in Ireland. Established in 2004 as a successor to the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC founded in 1982) at University College Cork, the Institute hosts over 460 researchers, engineers and support staff, including a full-time postgraduate cohort of 135 students, generating over 200 peer-reviewed publications each year.

With a network of over 200 industry partners and customers worldwide, Tyndall generates around 30M income each year, 85% from competitively won contracts nationally and internationally. Tyndall is also a lead partner in European research programmes in its core areas of ICT, communications, energy, health and the environment worth 44M, including 6M accruing to industry in Ireland (from Framework 7). Hosting the only full CMOS, Micro-Electronic-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and III-V Wafer Semiconductor fabrication facilities and services in Ireland, Tyndall is capable of prototyping new product opportunities for its target industries - electronics, medical devices, energy and communications. Tyndall is a globally leading Institute in its four core research areas of Photonics, Microsystems, Micro/Nanoelectronics and Theory Modelling & Design. Tyndall is the lead institution for the Science Foundation Ireland funded Irish Photonics Integration Centre (IPIC).[1]


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Coordinates: 51°53′52″N 8°29′01″W / 51.897639°N 8.483712°W / 51.897639; -8.483712