Two Irish Research Council Scholars join GDG to advance engineering in transport infrastructure and offshore wind

We’re delighted to welcome Roberto Pantoja Porro and Emma Gallagher, who have joined Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions (GDG) as Irish Research Council (IRC) Scholars. The PhD candidates are part of an IRC Programme which links research talent with enterprise and innovation in Ireland. We are proud to host these two exceptional engineers, whose research will have a significant impact on the future of transport infrastructure and offshore wind.

Roberto Pantoja Porro, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering as well as three Master’s degrees, will work with GDG and University College Cork to research the impact of climate change on transportation infrastructures, such as tunnels and rail. In near real-time, Roberto will use satellite imagery, drone inspections and wireless sensors to optimise the monitoring of geotechnical assets. Such high spatial and temporal resolution data will allow road and rail operators to prioritise remediation works and maintain safe operation in the face of increasingly frequent and extreme weather events.

Roberto said, “I joined GDG because of the team’s extensive experience and expertise in assessing the impact of climate change on existing infrastructure, having carried out geotechnical failure investigations for the Environmental Protection Agency, Irish Rail, and the World Bank. This experience will be a great resource in advancing my research, it will provide me with the necessary background information and professional training to achieve optimal and effective results.”

Emma Gallagher, who has both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, will research the optimisation of floating offshore wind turbine anchoring technologies. In particular, she will focus on the use of suction caisson anchors for array scale developments and the use of shared anchors. The ultimate goal of her research is to optimise wind turbine foundations, reducing their cost, improving their viability at less favourable sites, and ultimately leading to a quicker energy transition. Emma’s research will support our ongoing work with the International Energy Agency in this important area.

Emma said, “I’m very excited to be working with GDG and Trinity College Dublin for my PhD. During my undergrad, I was lucky enough to take a seven-month industrial placement at GDG. Whilst here, I recognised that the company provided a supportive environment in which enthusiastic individuals are encouraged and assisted in the production of exceptional work. I wanted to return to GDG to develop my engineering knowledge and work with world-class engineers in the offshore space.”

“At GDG, we put a strong emphasis on research and innovation as we understand the importance of pushing boundaries to define a new state-of-the-art. Roberto and Emma join a group of 20 excellent researchers in our Research and Development team, led by our Head of Innovation, Dr Cian Desmond. We’re proud to work with Emma and Roberto on these important research endeavours.”

Dr Indrasenan Thusyanthan, Managing Director, GDG, welcoming the new Irish Research Council Scholars to GDG.

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