Development & Alumni Relations Office 

QUEEN'S ACADEMICS AWARDED GOLD MEDALS FROM THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY  Professor Fusco, Professor McKenna, Professor Greer and Professor English in the cloisters at the RIA Gold Medal presentation

17 September 2020

Two academics from Queen's University were this week (Monday 14 September) presented with Gold Medals from the Royal Irish Academy, the first time academics in the same institution received the award in the same year.

Professor Richard English, MRIA, Professor of Politics and Professor Vincent Fusco, MRIA, Professor of Electronic Engineering and Head of High Frequency Electronics Research at Queen’s were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the Social Sciences and the Engineering Sciences, respectively.

The medals were presented by Professor Gerry McKenna, Senior Vice-President, Royal Irish Academy with Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s at a private ceremony at the University, in line with public health guidelines. 

Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are sponsored by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and recognise leading scholars in Ireland whose work has made an international impact, demonstrating the global reach and recognition of the exceptional quality of scholarship taking place on this island.

The Gold Medals have become the ultimate accolade in scholarly achievement in Ireland.

Announcing the awarding of the Gold Medals to Professors English and Fusco, President of the Royal Irish Academy, Dr Mary Canning said:

"This is the first time that the awards have been presented to leading academics in the same institution in the same year and I congratulate these two exceptional recipients. The Academy wishes to thank the President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s for hosting today’s private ceremony."

On the news that he was to receive this honour, Professor Fusco said:

"The microwave wireless communications expertise developed here at Queen’s is systemically important to modern life and working practices. It creates technologies that will make our daily digital interactions seamless by enabling future mobile phones, autonomous vehicles, and satellite communications.

“This award is recognition not only for myself but also for those bright minds that I have been fortunate to engage with over my career."

Responding to the awarding of his Academy Gold Medal, Professor English commented:

"I am extremely honoured to receive the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal in the Social Sciences and I am very grateful to the Academy for this award.

“It's a pleasure also to thank Queen's University Belfast, where I've had the privilege of working for most of my academic career."

Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's said:

"Queen's is renowned for excellence in scholarship and research on the island of Ireland and internationally. 

“I am delighted that these highly esteemed academics, Professor Richard English and Professor Vincent Fusco, have been honoured by the Royal Irish Academy for their outstanding academic research and achievements in the social sciences and engineering, respectively.

"This is a special year for our University as we mark the 175th anniversary of our foundation as one of three Queen’s Colleges in Ireland. It is fitting that two of our academics are being honoured with the highest accolade in scholarly achievement in Ireland in the same year we are celebrating 175 years of academic excellence.  

“I warmly congratulate each of them on this great honour."

Media enquiries to Zara McBrearty at Queen’s Communications Office on 07795 676 858. For further information about the Royal Irish Academy, please contact: Aisling Roche on: 00 353 (0) 86 1938 263. 

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