The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s Alan Ryan has won the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s 2014 Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher, for his work in tissue engineering
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Alan Ryan, a PhD student at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from one of the world’s largest professional bodies for engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Ryan is a student working with Prof Fergal O’Brien, professor of bioengineering & regenerative medicine at RCSI and deputy director of AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland-funded materials science centre.

Ryan has been awarded one of the IET’s largest scholarships – the 2014 Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher, worth £10,000. He was recognised for his work in tissue engineering, where he has developed a novel artificial blood vessel from a natural polymer biomaterial. His research focuses on utilising the natural polymers, collagen and elastin, as a basis for growing blood vessels in the lab using tissue-engineering techniques.

“I’m delighted to be awarded this scholarship,” said Ryan. “I hope to continue to undertake postdoctoral research in a world-class institute such as AMBER so that I remain at the forefront of this exciting field and further develop my own research niche.” He aims to become a principal investigator and university lecturer in the future.

Prof Fergal O’Brien, said Ryan’s achievement was “a testament to the quality of his work in the development of biomaterials that could be used as alternatives to current vascular bypasses for the benefit of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death worldwide”.

The IET’s Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher is given annually to an accomplished PhD researcher working on a project that aims to enhance people’s lives through advancing knowledge in science, engineering and technology.

In 2013, the IET provided over £1,000,000 in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence, innovation and encouragement of the next generation of engineers and technicians. The IET will maintain this investment in 2014 with its portfolio of awards, which includes Diamond Jubilee scholarships, Apprentice and Technician awards, scholarships in India, the Present around the World competition and the IET AF Harvey Engineering Research Prize.

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  Alan Ryan, a PhD student at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from one of the world’s largest professional bodies for engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Ryan is a student working with Prof Fergal O’Brien, professor of bioengineering...