Professor Patrick O Shea, University College Cork. (Photo: Thomas Tyner)

Cork native and UCC physics graduate Professor Patrick O’Shea, who took up his appointment as 15th President of his alma materon Wednesday, has vowed that UCC will ‘continue its rise among the great universities of the world’ during his tenure.

In his previous role as Vice President and Chief Research Officer at the University of Maryland in the US, Professor O’Shea was at the helm of a $500 million (€470m) per annum research and innovation enterprise. His academic, political and business acumen helped the University to become one of the leading research universities in the world.

Under his leadership, the University of Maryland achieved two years of record research funding in 2015 and 2016, and is on track to achieve even higher levels in 2017.

“In parallel, the University of Maryland also reached unprecedented heights in research rankings and scholarly excellence, rising to among the top universities in the world. We achieved new heights in our graduation rates, in scholarly output and intellectual property development, and in our impact on the economy and the community, while remaining faithful to our core academic principles,” said Professor O’Shea.

Pointing out that he has had to develop into an ‘enthusiastic partnership-builder’ in recent years, the new President said he is well positioned to develop close links with UCC’s alumni, and with all sectors of Irish society to promote ‘symbiotic partnerships and significant fundraising programmes’.

“These will secure the resources – the human and physical capital – that UCC needs to deliver on its mission and vision,” he added.