Limerick, June 2020: Lero, the SFI Research Centre for Software, is inaugurating a special award in memory of the late Professor Rory O’Connor of Dublin City University. 

The Professor Rory O’Connor Prize for Outstanding Service to Lero will be a highlight of the annual Lero Director’s Prize programme to recognise the enormous commitment and contribution of Lero members to the research centre’s success. 

Lero Director Professor Brian Fitzgerald said the centre is very pleased that Professor O’Connor’s family have given their kind permission to establish the award. It is open to all Lero team members in the centre’s 11 Irish higher-education institutes across Ireland. 

“Professor Rory O’Connor was a valued member of Lero from its foundation in 2005 until his death in 2019. He contributed so much to Lero in those 15 years. This award seeks to recognise an individual with an outstanding record of support for, and commitment to, Lero." 

"Rory was a renowned world-class researcher whose enthusiasm and sense of fun was infectious. At DCU he led the School of Computing for almost six years overseeing and driving very significant expansion in research, programme innovations, growth in academic and research staff, and major facilities upgrades. Naming this award in his honour is a fitting tribute,” added Professor Fitzgerald. 

Margaret O’Connor, wife of the late Professor O’Connor, said the award was a fitting tribute to his memory. 

“Rory committed his time and energy to help make everything and everyone in his professional sphere live up to their potential but more importantly he made us all better people for knowing him,” she said. 

The annual awards programme was founded in 2019 by Lero Director, Professor Brian Fitzgerald to recognise the enormous commitment and contribution of Lero members to the research centre’s success. 

Entries are now open for the 2020 Lero Director’s Prize in five award categories:

  • Research Excellence
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Education and Public Engagement
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Outstanding Service to Lero

More information on the 2020 Lero Director's Prize are available on