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Learn more about some of our guest speakers who will contribute during the online 2021 National Energy Research and Policy Conference.

Graham Brennan

Transport R&D Programme Manager, SEAI

Graham Brennan is responsible for the development and management of SEAI’s Electric Vehicle (EV) programmes which have disbursed €74m in supports to help establish the current market of over 35,000 EVs on Irish roads.  He was a member of the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles (LEV) Task Force which developed the key policies in place today underpinning the development of the EV market in Ireland.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the IEA HEV Technology Collaboration Programme.

Previously Graham was responsible for running the Ocean Energy and RE Research & Development programmes within SEAI providing support for the first installations of wave energy, biomass and biofuel technology demonstrators in Ireland amongst others.  The results of this work has helped to inform policy developments in respective fields.

Before joining SEAI, Graham worked for Rolls-Royce Aero Engines on turbine design in Derby, UK and prior to that he worked in the offshore oil and gas sector in Aberdeen.

Rachel Cahill

Head of Chief Executive Office with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)

Rachel is Head of Chief Executive Office with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and leads key strategic cross organisational initiatives and programmes; most notable being TII’s sustainability and climate action strategy.

As a leading transport agency within Ireland’s transport community and the body directly responsible for delivering transport infrastructure and operating Ireland’s public transport light rail system, TII has a responsibility to provide sustainable transport networks for all. With women accounting for half of the population, TII recognises the importance of understanding and addressing the different mobility patterns and needs of both men and women. Rachel commissioned and is the business sponsor of TII’s “Travelling in a Woman’s Shoes” study and report published in July 2020. This study is a first of its kind in Ireland and is guided by the UN’s Sustainable Developments Goals, in particular, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Goal 13: Climate Action.

Rachel is a chartered accountant with over 25 years’ experience working in complex and demanding financial and operational environments including the last 15 years in the transport and mobility sector.  Prior to joining TII, Rachel spent 10 years working in the banking industry in both operational and financial roles.

Dr. James Carroll

Postdoctoral Researcher, Trinity College Dublin

James Carroll's research explores household energy-related investments and behaviours - the role of monetary, economic and behavioural drivers, and the effects of informational interventions, such as energy labels and smart meters. Additional research explores household willingness-to-pay for carbon reductions on flights and the factors which affect sustainable transport choices. He is currently a Senior Economist at the Central Bank of Ireland. 

Dr. James Carton

Assistant Professor in Sustainable Energy in Dublin City University

Dr James Carton is Assistant Professor in Sustainable Energy in Dublin City University. Dr Carton’s research focus is energy sustainability through innovative technology development, techno-economic modelling, hydrogen for mobility, Power-to-X and renewable energy storage. Dr Carton is co-founder of Hydrogen Ireland Association and academic advisor to Hydrogen Mobility Ireland. Dr Carton is a Hydrogen Taskforce Expert to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE). Recently Dr Carton was awarded funding from Science Foundation Ireland to investigate the role of hydrogen to support decarbonisation on the island of Ireland in a project called "HyLight" with 25 industry partners.

Dr. Brian Caulfield

Associate Professor and Head of Discipline in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Brian Caulfield is an Associate Professor and Head of Discipline in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. He has been active in transport research for over 10 years and to date has attracted €3.4m in research funding from both National and EU funding sources. His research focuses upon the optimisation of transportation networks with the goal of reducing emissions and meeting our climate change targets.

In 2017, he addressed the Irish Citizens Assembly on Climate Change, providing evidence on what low carbon transport options Ireland could adopt to meet emission reduction targets and in 2020 provided evidence to the Climate Change Advisory Authority on transport and climate change. In 2021, he addressed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action twice on this this topic.  He is currently a member of the steering group for the update and renewal of the Greater Dublin Area transport strategy for the National Transport Authority.

Dr Caulfield has published 80 peer-reviewed journal papers on the topic of transportation and is an Editor of Transport Policy (Impact factor: 4.674 ) and a Senior Editor of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (Impact factor: 14.982).   

Barry Colleary

Head of Transport Modelling at the National Transport Authority (NTA)

Barry is the Head of Transport Modelling at the National Transport Authority (NTA) where he has worked since 2009, prior to that he worked in the Dublin Transportation Office as a transport planner in the modelling field. He is responsible for the NTA Regional Model Development programme which develops and maintains models for the five regional cites of Ireland as well as the National Demand Forecasting Model. Most of the work that Barry has undertaken has been in support of the development and implementation of Strategic Transport Plans for Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area. Barry is also the chair of the Transport Planning Society in Ireland which promotes excellence in transport planning through its accreditation programmes, policy commentary and training/knowledge transfer. Barry lectures on the subject of Modelling and the Regional Modelling System and has recently been appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor (Civil Struct & Env. Eng.) at Trinity College Dublin.  Barry has a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering and a Master of Engineering Science in Transportation Engineering from UCD as well as Diploma in Management (IMI) and Diploma in Applied Project Management (IPM).

Dr. David Connolly

Director of Innovation UK and Ireland, SYSTRA Ltd.

Dr David Connolly is Director of New Mobility at SYSTRA Ltd, who are one of the largest specialist transport planning consultancies in Ireland.  He has spent much of his 30-year career helping clients in Ireland, the UK and beyond reduce the emissions of air quality pollutants and greenhouse gases from traffic and transport.  His expertise includes multi-modal transport modelling, vehicle fleet forecasting, emissions modelling and transport decarbonisation.  He has recently used these skills on various projects for the NTA and the Department of Transport, including the development of traffic demand management strategies for Ireland’s cities and providing transport-related inputs to the latest Climate Action Plan for Ireland. 


Dr. Lucy Corcoran

Programme Manager, Research, Development & Demonstration, SEAI

Lucy Corcoran works on delivery of the SEAI National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme, which supports innovative energy RD&D projects that contribute to Ireland’s transition to a clean and secure energy future. Lucy represents Ireland on Europe’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SETPlan) Steering Group, and represents SEAI on the National Climate Research Coordination Group. Lucy is also the National Contact Point for the European Commission co-funded ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems initiative.

Lucy is an engineer with ten years’ experience in the energy sector, across industry and academia. She holds a BAI (Engineering) and PhD (Hydropower Energy Recovery) from Trinity College Dublin, and is a graduate of the UCD-TCD-QUB Innovation Academy (Innovation and Entrepreneurship).

Ewan Delany

Manager, Environment, Emissions & Adaptation Policy, Ministry of Transport, New Zealand

Ewan leads the Environment, Emissions and Adaptation area at the New Zealand Ministry of Transport. His team advises the Minister of Transport on policy relating to transport decarbonisation, climate change adaptation and broader transport environment issues. He is the transport director for the government’s climate change work programme, including the Emissions Reduction Plan and National Adaptation Plan

Ewan has policy and leadership experience across New Zealand government science and research, higher education and environmental policy domains as well as in management consultancy focussed on renewable energy. His academic background is in environmental economics.

Dr. Denis Dineen

Energy Statistics Analyst, SEAI

Denis is an energy analyst with the statistics unit of SEAI since 2014 where he works on the development of the official national energy statistics and has been the lead author on a wide range of SEAI’s energy statistics reports. 

Ellen Diskin

National Network, Local Connections Programme Manager, ESB Networks

Ellen Diskin is responsible for leading ESB Networks’ National Network, Local Connections Programme, to deliver the operational systems, market design, and organisational capabilities critically needed to achieve renewables penetrations of 80% and above on the Irish electricity system. This project will introduce new products and services to increase system security, renewables’ penetration, community, and market participation in Ireland.

Previously, as PR5 Manager, Ellen was responsible for leading the development of ESB Networks’ investment plan for 2021-2025 (“PR5”), for approval by the CRU. She has over 10 years’ experience in the energy industry, working in operations, R&D, regulation, and investment planning.  Prior to this, Ellen worked in the telecommunications sector.

Marie Donnelly

Chairperson, Climate Change Advisory Council

Marie is the Chairperson of the Climate Change Advisory Council. She spent thirty years with the European Commission, ultimately as Director for Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Innovation, and was a leading advocate of future oriented policies and strategies: providing a fair deal for consumers; putting energy efficiency first; and achieving global leadership in renewable energies.

Marie is a member of the Governance Committee of MaREI, and an Advisory board member of UCD Energy Institute.
Marie was the first Chairperson of Renewable Energy Ireland - an open partnership of sustainable energy associations working collectively to support the energy transition in Ireland.

She was also a non-executive director of Tipperary Energy Agency – a social enterprise for energy efficiency; and E3G, a European climate change think tank operating to accelerate the global transition to a low carbon economy.

Marie is a Senior Advisor in Brussels to Hume Brophy, a global Communications Agency.

Before joining the Commission, Marie was a Director of the Federation of Irish Chemical Industries, prior to which she was an executive with the Kerry Group

Dr. Stephen Dooley

Assistant Professor, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin

Dr. Stephen Dooley is Assistant Professor at the School of Physics since August 2016. Stephen obtained his BSc and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway, in pure and applied chemistry and physical chemistry in 2004 & 2008 respectively. He then spent three-and-a-half years as a member of the professional research staff at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, USA.  After this, he worked as a thermofluids technical specialist at Cummins Engine Company in the UK, before joining the University of Limerick as a Lecturer at the Department of Chemical & Environmental Sciences where he spent 3 years. His research interests are in the Science of Energy, where he specialises in chemical reaction kinetics, fuels, and combustion science. He holds starting investigator and Career Advancement Awards from Science Foundation Ireland. He is the founding Director of the MSc in Energy Science at Trinity College Dublin.

Malithi Fernando

Policy Analyst, International Transport Forum

Malithi is a transport policy analyst and modeller at the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD. As part of the Quantitative Policy Analysis team, she managed the ITF’s flagship publication, the Transport Outlook 2021. She has also developed strategic transport models for Estonia, evaluated the economic case for electric postal delivery vehicles in Korea, and contributed to a number of projects as part of ITF’s Decarbonising Transport Initiative. She brings valuable experience from her private sector and academic roles across North America, and the UK prior to joining ITF. Her work has spanned all transport sectors, with a special focus on active mobility, public transport, and their social impact. Malithi holds a MSc in Transport Planning from the University of Leeds, UK and a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada.

Prof. Malene Freudendal-Pedersen

Professor in Urban Planning, Aalborg University, Denmark

Malene Freudendal-Pedersen is Professor in Urban Planning at Aalborg University and have an interdisciplinary background linking sociology, geography, urban planning and the sociology of technology. Her research focuses on mobilities practices, the interrelation between spatial and digital mobilities and its impacts on everyday life, cities and societies. She is co-organizing the International Cosmobilities Network, co-founder and co-editor of the Journal Applied Mobilities and the Book-series Networked Urban Mobilities, both at Routledge.

Ciaran Geaney

ICT Specialist , ESB Networks

Ciaran has been leading the ICT workstream on the ESB Networks Dingle Project since joining ESB Networks in 2019. Ciaran is an electrical engineer with ten years’ experience in the energy sector. He holds a BEng (Hons) degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queens University Belfast. Prior to joining ESB Networks, he worked for EirGrid where he held roles on the East West Interconnector project and in Power System Protection and Metering.

Dr. Bidisha Ghosh

Associate Professor, School of Engineering,Trinity College Dublin

Dr Bidisha Ghosh is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. She leads the research group, QUANT. She is an expert of natural system behaviour prediction using statistical methods, time-series modelling, artificial intelligence algorithms, sustainable transportation and health impact assessment of active travel. She has published over 130 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles. She is the PI of several national and European research projects and has received €2.5 million in research funding.

Dr. Gerfried Jungmeier

Joanneum Research, LIFE - Institute for Climate, Energy and Society, Austria

Highlights of professional experiences include:

  • life cycle assessment of bioenergy for transport, electricity, heat and biorefineries
  • greenhouse gas assessment of products and services
  • sustainability assessment and future scenarios for transportation fuels of the future – biofuels, e-mobility and hydrogen
  • Operating Agent of IEA HEV Task 30 “Environmental Effects of Electric Vehicles”
  • Operating Agent of IEA HEV Task 33 “Battery Electric Buses”

Gerfried Jungmeier holds an M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (1993) and a PhD on "Greenhouse Gas Balance of Bioenergy Systems" (1999). Since 1993 he has been an energy researcher at Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH and has experience in the development and assessment of systems for eco-mobility – biofuels, e-mobility and hydrogen, biorefinery, life cycle assessment, sustainable energy systems, climate friendly lifestyles.

His present positions include Key Researcher “Future Energy Systems and Lifestyle” at JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Lecturer at Vienna University of Technology on “Ecological Resource Management”, Lecturer at Danube University Krems “Carbon Footprint and Life cycle Assessment” and Lecturer at University of Applied Science Kapfenberg “Resource Management and Biofuels”.

Sveinung André Kvalø

Senior Advisor at Electric Vehicle Association, Norway

Sveinung André Kvalø has a Master's Degree in Economics from the University in Oslo. Sveinung has 20 years' experience with economic analyses on transport and energy in both private and public sector. He has worked with national climate policies and international climate negotiations and is one of the leading EV policy experts in Norway. He has extensive knowledge on environmental transport and sustainable urban development.

Andrea Lennon

Head of Energy, Air and Adaptation, in the Climate Unit of the Department of Transport

The Climate Unit co-ordinates the Department’s policy response to the challenge of climate change. This includes delivery on the ambition of the Climate Action Plan concerning the transport sector. In recognition of the important role that research has in the evidence base for policy development, planning, implementation and evaluation, the Department is involved in several collaborative research initiatives with ongoing engagement among a broad network of academic, industry and policy stakeholders.

Andrea leads out on the Department of Transport climate research programme across the theme of sustainability and climate action.

Margie McCarthy

Director of Research and Policy Insights, SEAI

Margie is a member of the Executive Leadership Team of SEAI contributing to the development and implementation of organisational strategy and operationalising that strategy for optimal delivery of results.  She is responsible for the leadership and management of the Research and Policy Insights Directorate including oversight of SEAI research activities, modelling and statutory reporting of Ireland's energy statistics and projections, providing strategic energy policy insights and advisory to Government including behavioural analysis.

Margie is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland.  She joined SEAI from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), where she served as Head of Education and Public Engagement and as Interim Director of Science for Society.   A core focus of her work was to support greater impact from STEM research for the benefit of society through the growth and development of funding opportunities and researcher/end user engagement.  She has also led delivery of national engagement schemes including Science Week and broadcast programmes. As Interim Director, Margie helped establish SFI’s challenge-based research approach and held responsibility for oversight of a significant research funding award portfolio.  Margie has served on several national education and skills policy groups and is currently Chairperson of the Gender Balance in STEM Education Advisory Group to the Department of Education.

Prior to joining SFI, Margie held the role of Membership Director with Engineers Ireland, the professional body for engineering in Ireland.  During her almost ten years with this organisation, Margie led a range of briefs from regulatory matters and competence framework development to marketing, life-long professional skills development and STEM engagement programmes. Before this, she worked as a consultant engineer with JB Barry & Partners and Aer Rianta Technical Consultants.


Declan Meally

Director of Business, Public Sector and Transport, SEAI

Declan is Director of Business, Public Sector and Transport in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Ireland’s national body for sustainable energy policy and programmes. His portfolio of programmes include community engagement (smart city), renewable energy and energy retrofits and the low emission vehicle programmes.  He is a chartered mechanical engineer and has worked for over twenty five years in management in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining SEAI, Declan worked in management in Xerox Europe Limited and Aer Rianta.

Larissa Miller

Associate in Transport Advisory, Arup, Ireland

Larissa is an Associate in Transport Advisory at Arup in Ireland, with over 17 years’ experience across the transport planning, sustainable mobility, and communication sectors. She advises her clients on how to plan for and improve transport systems; as they face demographic change and population growth, grapple with new technologies, aim to reduce carbon emissions, and set goals for better connectivity, health, economic productivity, and quality of life. Her projects across metropolitan and regional Australia, and in Ireland and the South Pacific, include strategic transport strategies; integrated land use and transport plans; public transport, freight and parking studies; and walking and cycling plans. Larissa holds a Bachelor in Communications (University of Canberra), and has completed Masters in Planning (University of NSW), and Traffic and Transport (Monash University).

Alan Murphy

Regional Manager, Smart Dublin

Alan is passionate about doing things differently using new technology. He is the Smart Dublin Regional Manager working across all four Dublin Local Authorities to explore emerging technology to provide better public services in areas such as Sustainable Mobility, Environmental Controls, Energy Efficiency, Citizen Sensing, etc. He has extensive experience in developing new business models and delivering change via technology in many sectors such as the Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Humanitarian sectors. Most recently Alan has been exploring the topic of Mobility-as-a-Service as to the most appropriate approach for Ireland. He has previously worked for PwC, IBM and HCL Axon amongst others. Alan’s qualifications include a Business Studies Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Computing from the University of Limerick. 


Allanah Murphy

Senior Analyst, Data and Insights, SEAI

Allanah is a Senior Analyst working within the Energy Modelling team of SEAI’s Data and Insights Department. The team are responsible for reporting of the National Energy Projections with Allanah focusing on the transport sector projections. Prior to joining SEAI earlier this year, Allanah was a transport planning consultant for 8 years working on multi-modal transport strategies, demand management studies and modelling & appraisal projects throughout Ireland.

Prof. Valeria Nicolosi

Professor of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy, Trinity College Dublin

Prof. Valeria Nicolosi received a BSc (honours) in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Catania (Italy) in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Physics in 2006 from Trinity College Dublin. In 2008 she moved to the University of Oxford with a RAEng/EPSRC Fellowship. In 2012 she returned to Trinity College Dublin as Research Professor. Now she is the Chair of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy in Trinity College Dublin.

She has published more than 150 high-impact-papers and won numerous awards: RDS/Intel Prize for Nanoscience 2012, World Economic Forum Young Scientist 2013, WMB Woman in Technology Award 2013, SFI President of Ireland Young Researcher Award 2014, SFI Irish Early Stage Researcher 2016, TCD ERC Awardee 2017. Prof. Nicolosi has been awarded 5 European Research Council Awards: a €1.5m Starting Grant in 2011, 3 Proof-of-Concept top-up grants to bring results of frontier research closer to the market, and a €2.5m Consolidator Grant in 2016, bringing her total research funding awarded in the past 5 years to over €12 million.

Prof. Nicolosi’s work includes synthesis, exfoliation and characterisation of layered materials towards a range of applications ranging from composites to energy storage and ICT. The main focus of Valeria’s research group is to conduct interdisciplinary research on the processing and cutting-edge electron microscopy characterisation of low-dimensional nanomaterials, including graphene, other two-dimensional inorganic materials, nanotubes and nanowires. One of the core activities of the group is to use novel 2D materials for the development of more efficient energy storage devices, with particular emphasis on supercapacitors and batteries, manufactured both classically, and by 2D and 3D printing.

Prof. Kevin M. Ryan

Professor in Chemical Nanotechnology, Department of Chemical Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Limerick

Professor Kevin M. Ryan holds a Personal Chair in Chemical Nanotechnology at the Department of Chemical Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Limerick. He is coordinator of the H2020 EU projects Si-Drive and NEILLSBAT in the area of Li-ion and Lithium-Sulfur batteries respectively. He is Co-Principal Investigator on SFI Centres MaREI and AMBER and funded Investigator on SSPC and Confirm. He is theme leader for the Molecular/Nano cluster at the Bernal Institute and holds SFI IVP and IRC Laureate awards. He is a native of Limerick and graduated with a BSc in 1999 and a PhD in 2003 in Chemistry from University College Cork. He subsequently held Marie Curie Fellowship positions at Merck Chemicals Southampton, UK and at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, prior to joining University of Limerick in 2006 as a Stokes Lecturer. He has published over 140academic papers with a h-index of 43 (Google Scholar) and holds several patents with research interests in semiconductor nanocrystals and nanowires for applications in electronic devices and batteries. His research group currently 5 postdoctoral researchers and 16 PhD students are based at the Bernal Institute (

Jim Scheer

Head of Data and Insights, SEAI

Jim is responsible for SEAI’s policy insights and design support, covering statistics, energy modelling and behavioural economics. He joined SEAI in 2007 and prior to that worked for the Government of South Australia. Jim holds a MSc. in Economic Policy Studies from Trinity College Dublin and a primary degree in Environmental Science from Flinders University (South Australia). 

Kerrie Sheehan

Head of Research and Technology, SEAI

Dr. Joseph Sherlock

Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University

Joseph Sherlock leads the Government Team at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University – a team which focuses on using behavioral science to bring innovation into civic society and has programs with funds totaling over $2million. He is currently on an extended secondment (sabbatical) from central government in the UK where he is a Principal Behavioural Scientist with HM Revenue and Customs. He is also PhD candidate at the London School of Economics, where is focusing on applying behavioral science to sustainable transportation.

He has previously worked at the Behavioural Insights Team in Public Health, as a Branding Consultant for Clear M&C Saatchi, and has co-founded a behavioral and wellbeing science consultancy. Joseph has run 50+ RCTs with governments across the world and has a wealth of experience applying behavioral science and human-centered design to difficult behavioral challenges, mostly in the sustainability, transportation, tax, financial decision making and health arenas. Joseph has a First Class Psychology degree from the University of Bath and holds an MSc in Social Policy from The London School of Economics.

Prof. Jim Skea

Professor of Sustainable Energy, Imperial College London

Jim Skea is Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London with research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. His current main role is as Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III for the 6th assessment cycle. He was Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre 2004-12 and Director of the Policy Studies Institute 1998-2004. He has operated at the interface between research, policy-making and business throughout his career. He was a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change from its inception in 2008 until 2018, and is currently the Chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission. From 2015-17, he was President of the UK Energy Institute. He was awarded a CBE for services to sustainable energy in 2013 and an OBE for services to sustainable transport in 2004.

Jeff Spangenberger

Argonne National Laboratory

Jeff Spangenberger is the Materials Recycling R&D Group Lead in the Applied Materials Division at Argonne National Laboratory. His group works to solve material separation, recovery, and recycling challenges resulting in cost effective and environmentally sustainable processes that are then transferrable to industry.

Jeff is also the director of the ReCell center, an advanced battery recycling program funded by the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, to evaluate and advance the cost effective and sustainable recycling of end-of-life batteries.

William Walsh

Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

William Walsh is Chief Executive Officer in SEAI, having previously held the position of both Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer. William joined SEAI 2013. Prior to joining SEAI he worked for IFI where he held a number of roles including Assistant Chief Executive Officer and Director. Prior to that he held senior management positions in the private sector. William is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from Dublin City University and a Graduate Diploma in Strategy, Innovation and Change from UCD.