Kevin O’Connor is Director of BEACON SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, a Principal Investigator in the UCD Earth Institute and a Full Professor in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD. He is chairperson of the scientific committee for the €4 billion public-private partnership Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a former member of the European Commission biobased products expert group and a previous member of European Commission committee entitled the “lead market initiative for Bio-based products (2008-2011).
Kevin’s research interests are integrated biorefining, biobased chemicals, microbial biotechnology, biodegradable polymers, biocatalysis and protein engineering. He has published over 100 international peer review articles and made of over 200 contributions at national and international conferences. He has filed 8 patents and successfully licensed 3 technologies resulting from his research work. Kevin is the founder of Bioplastech, a university spin out company endeavouring to commercialise the conversion of residues and biobased resources to biodegradable polymers, and Nova Mentis, a second campus company established to commercialise a novel antioxidant with health promoting properties.
Professor O’Connor was a leading driver of the development of the €6M rural Bioeconomy campus at Lisheen, Co. Tipperary, and the Irish EU Model demonstrator region for the sustainable production of chemicals.
- 1996: PhD, Microbiology, University College Cork
- 1991: BSc, University College Cork
Measures of esteem:
- Member of the Microbiology Society UK 2020 project “A sustainable future” 2019
- Plenary lecture at the Microbiology Society UK annual conference, Birmingham 2018 “Plastic waste is a global challenge: Are biodegradable plastics the answer?”
- Chairperson of the scientific committee for the Biobased industries joint undertaking (BBIJU) 2014-present
- Editorial Board Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (Springer)