The Irish Laboratory Awards

Judges & Judging

An independent panel of recognised and expert judges, representing Ireland's fit out industry, will determine the winners of the Irish Lab Awards.

Our focus is to deliver a balanced judging assessment from industry leaders who will bring their extensive knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise to the judging process ensuring that the winning entries are truly outstanding and worthy of receiving a  Irish Lab Award.

The panel is carefully selected to ensure the Awards judging process is fair and objective. The judges are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement and are required to declare any conflict of interest in entries over which they deliberate, in which case that entry will be reallocated. The integrity of this process lies at the very heart of all that we do.

We recognise and respect the sensitive nature of the information submitted in the entries. Submissions are not disclosed or discussed outside the judging process. We do not publish the names of companies, organisations or individuals that have not been shortlisted for an Award, nor will we reproduce any information from your entry unless prior permission is given.

A comprehensive judging process has been put together to decide the worthy winners of the  Irish Lab Awards:

Judging Process

  1. After the closing date for receiving submissions all entries will be sent for the first round of review.
  2. Entries will be carefully scrutinised with the best selected to go forward to the shortlist for each category.
  3. The shortlist of finalists will be published on the Awards website.
  4. Judges are divided into a minimum of two panels, ensuring any potential conflict is avoided.
  5. The judges will score each of the entries allocated to them against a predetermined set of scores.
  6. Scores are then collected and collated, with the entrant receiving the highest overall score being declared the winner of that category.
  7. The winners will be revealed at the annual awards ceremony.

The judge's decision is final and no correspondence, telephone, email or communication of any kind will be entered into in relation to decisions reached.

 The 2018 Judging Panel

The winners of this year's  Irish Lab Awards will be decided by an independent panel of distinguished industry leaders.

More judges will be announced soon.


Matt Moran - Director, BioPharmaChem Ireland

Matt Moran - Director, BioPharmaChem Ireland 

Matthew Moran is Director of BioPharmaChem Ireland.  He graduated in Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin in 1980 and in Chemical Engineering at University College Dublin in 1981; he holds an MBA also from University College Dublin (Smurfit School of Business).  He worked for over ten years in the pharmaceutical industry where he held a number of management positions both in active ingredient and dosage form manufacture.  He is a member the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Matthew Moran is Vice-President of the Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients (API) Committee of CEFIC (CEFIC/APIC). He is a Board member of The European Association for Bioindustries (Europabio)

BioPharmaChem Ireland represents the interests of the biopharmachem sector in Ireland.  CEFIC/APIC represents the European API Industry. Europabio represents the European Biotech Sector.


Irene Regan - President, Academy of Clinical Science & Laboratory Medicine

Irene Regan - President, Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine Irene is a fellow of the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine and the Royal College of Pathologists UK (FRCPath). She is currently the Scientific Lead of Coagulation at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Dublin with her main interests being in paediatric bleeding disorders in both service provision and research. She is also engaged in lecturing. She is in her second year as President of the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine, which is the professional body and competent authority for Scientists working in clinical laboratories in Ireland.

Irene is currently a member of the Health and Social Care Professional Advisory Group where her remit is Research, Advanced Practice and CPD. She’s also a Steering Committee Member of the Research Collaborative in Quality and Patient Safety (RCPS), a joint initiative between the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Royal College of Physicians Ireland (RCPI). She has developed close working links with the Faculty of Pathology in Ireland and the Association of Clinical Biochemists Ireland through working groups such as Joint Working Group on Laboratory Accreditation. Internationally, she has been a mentor with the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) initiative to improve the Technical, Quality, Leadership and Research Skills of Diagnostic Services in five countries (20 public sector laboratories) in Africa (LabSkills Africa).

Dr. Fiona Blighe - Scientific Programme Manager, Science Foundation Ireland

Dr. Fiona Blighe - Scientific Programme Manager, Science Foundation Ireland Dr. Fiona Blighe is a Scientific Programme Manager with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). She manages the ongoing evaluation of a portfolio of SFI awards in the areas of ICT, the physical sciences and engineering. Fiona has a background in material physics and project management. She holds a PhD in Physics and a degree in Natural Science from Trinity College Dublin.

Dr. Fionnuala Hickey - Research Fellow & Lab Manager, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital & Executive Committee Member, Irish Research Staff Association

Dr. Fionnuala Hickey - Research Fellow & Lab Manager, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital & Executive Committee Member, Irish Research Staff Association
Fionnuala Hickey is a senior scientist within the Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity College Dublin and manager of the Meath Foundation Research Laboratory at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital. She is also an executive committee member of the Irish Research Staff Association.

She obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from UCC in 2005 and since then has worked in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, TCD; the Diabetes Complications Research Centre at the Conway Institute in UCD and the Trinity Health Kidney Centre. Fionnuala has also spent time working at Duke University Medical Centre, the University of Chicago and the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on the role of mitochondria and cellular metabolism in human disease with a particular focus on inflammatory conditions.

Conor O'Brien - Honorary President, Irish Science Teachers Association

 Conor O'Brien - Honorary President, Irish Science Teachers Association Conor O’Brien PhD MBA spent almost his whole career in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing industry in Ireland working with Syntex (now Roche Pharma), Boehringer Ingelheim, Schwarz Pharma and Recordati.  He served as Chairman of PharmaChemical Ireland and finished his Pharma career as Site Director of Recordati Ireland, Ringaskiddy.  He is currently Chairman of the Irish Science Teachers Association and is active in Energy consulting.

Dr. Colin Clarke - Principal Investigator, NIBRT

Dr. Colin Clarke, Principal Investigator, NIBRT Dr Colin Clarke holds a MSc and PhD in Bioinformatics from Cranfield University, UK and lead’s NIBRT’s Systems Biology and Data Analytics Laboratory. Colin holds both a SFI Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) and SFI Career Development Award (CDA). He was the first European Scientist to be awarded the Martin Sinacore Outstanding Young Investigator Award at Cell Culture Engineering, Quebec, Canada and in 2017, he was selected as Young Leader of the Year at the Irish Laboratory Awards.

Patrick Hobbs - Former President, Institute of Chemistry of Ireland & Editor, Irish Chemical News

Patrick Hobbs - Former President, Institute of Chemistry of Ireland & Editor, Irish Chemical News
He is formally PT/PD & QA Manager at Lonza, Swords.

His research & work interests include:

Solid State & Crystallisation/Precipitation/Polymorphs; Powder & Particle Characterisation; New Product Development & Introduction; Biocide Formulation
Effluent: Advanced Oxidation Process; Process Scale Up & Chemical Reaction Hazards; Synthetic Catalytic Process; Enzymatic transformations for continuous process; ISO9001 & Operational Excellence; Design, Commissioning of a Chinese Biocide Plant.

 Mary Dempsey - Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway

 Mary Dempsey - Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway Mary is a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway. She has over 20 years’ experience in academia and in addition, a number of years work experience with a multinational manufacturing start-up. Her teaching and research interests lie in the area of Operations Engineering and she has taught at all levels in tertiary education including PhD and executive education. Mary has extensive local, national and international industry links. She is co-founder of the NUI Galway Youth Academy which was established to attract high-ability 4th and 5th class primary pupils (≥5 percentile), create positive perceptions of NUI Galway, inspire tertiary education to different generations, and engage youths from disadvantaged backgrounds (DEIS) who may not have a family history of tertiary education. She is positively contributing to NUI Galway’s endeavours to foster a culture supporting best practice in equality, diversity and inclusiveness and she is part of College of Engineering (CoEI) Self-Assessment team leading the Athena Swan accreditation bid. Mary successfully completed the Aurora Foundation Leadership training in 2017. She has a number of accolades including; Inaugural 'Lecturer of the Year' Award - presented by the Minister for Education and Science, Mr. Batt O'Keeffe T.D. (2010). Cultural Exchange Nominee - Higher Education Authority (2010). Academic Prize for Academic Achievement - Enterprise Ireland (2013) and Irish Education Laboratory Finalist - Irish Laboratory Awards (2013).


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