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iCRAG Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences

The Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) brings together Ireland’s leading geoscience experts to work on developing safe and secure groundwater supplies, discovering mineral and aggregate deposits, de-risking oil and gas exploration, and educating and informing the public on geoscience-related issues.

The centre has €26 million in funding and will support 150 researchers once it is fully up and running.

Research Areas

  • Raw materials – mineral/aggregate geoscience
  • Marine – marine geoscience
  • Groundwater – hydrogeology/hydrology
  • Hydrocarbons – petroleum geoscience
  • Geochemistry, geophysics, 3D geological modelling, and public perception and understanding

Research programmes

Forming an integrated team of internationally leading researchers and both large- and small-scale industry partners, iCRAG will carry out research which will help in the discovery and harnessing of Ireland’s natural resources, such as its world class Zn-Pb mineral deposits, its untapped hydrocarbon resources in challenging NE Atlantic deep water environments, and its important and environmentally sensitive seabed and groundwater resources.

Academic partners

Industry and commercialisation

The technology developed by iCRAG takes the form of soft-knowledge, data, methods, protocols, policy documents and software. This technology helps companies discover and develop natural resources for the mutual benefit of the companies and Ireland.

Industry partners include:

Apex Geoservices  Europa Oil and Gas (Holdings) Plc  International Lithium Corp.  Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd   Reposol Ecploración SA Tobin 
 AWN Consulting  FLI Group  Intersocial Consulting Nicholas O'Dwyer  Rubicon Heritage  Tobin Consulting 
Boliden  GDG  Irish Drilling  Pavement Management Services  Serica Energy Plc  Transport Infrastructure Ireland 
BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd  Geoscience Ireland  JB Barry & Partners  Petroleum Affrairs Division  Shell E&P Ireland Ltd   Trench Control
BRG  Geoserv  Kosmos Energy LLC   PIPCo RSG SLR Trevali Mining Corp 
Byrne Looby  Group Eleven Mining & Exploration Ltd  LTMS  Priority Drilling   Sorhill Advocates Pty Ltd Tullow Oil Plc 
Cairn Energy PLC  Geological Survey of Ireland  Lundin Mining  Providence Resources Plc   Sosina Exploration Ltd  Verde Environmental Group
Chevron North Sea Ltd  Homebond  Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd  PW Mining  SRK Consulting  Woodside Energy (ireland) PTY Ltd 
Designer Group  IE Consulting   Meehan Drilling PW Nigeria  Statoil (UK) ltd   
 ENI Ireland BV IGSL   Murphy Surveys  QME Teck Ireland   


  • A comprehensive suite of analytical and modelling resources
  • Platform facilities in geophysics, geochemistry and 3D modelling

Education and Public Engagement

Education and Public Engagement (EPE) is central to activities in iCRAG, and is informed by research on public perception and understanding of geoscience. The Centre’s twin objectives are to foster an interest and understanding of applied geoscience in the general population and to enhance the ability of iCRAG researchers to effectively communicate their research to a non-specialist audience. Initiatives include:

  • Primary school visits with “Micro-Geo” and “Fossil Hunt” workshops
  • The “Science Apprentice – Energy and Resources” magazine for primary schools
  • Smart Futures geoscience career visits to post-primary schools and Transition Year placement programmes
  • Collaboration with the Thesis in 3 and FameLab science communication competitions
  • Geoscience Film and Q&A nights

Key Contacts

Prof John Walsh - Centre Director

JJohn Walsh is Professor of Structural Geology at UCD and co-director of the Fault Analysis Group in the School of Earth Sciences. He has published more than 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals, served on the editorial boards of several journals, including Geology and the Journal of Structural Geology, and acted as Distinguished Lecturer for several organisations including the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). In 2015 he became the first Irish Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

Prof Balz Kamber - Deputy Director

Dr Jennifer Craig - Centre Manager

Dr Fergus Mc Auliffe - Education, Public Engagement and Communications Manager

Deirdre Clayton - Programme Manager

Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences

3rd Floor,
O’Brien Centre for Science East
University College Dublin
Dublin 4,

+353 1 7162169
Twitter: @icragcentre

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