University of Limerick

The University of Limerick (UL) with over 15,000 students and 1,400 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. The success of this approach has recently been recognised, and UL has been awarded “University of the Year for 2015 and 2019”, by the Sunday Times Good University guide.

Research at UL is renowned for its close alignment to real world problems and the university has an enviable reputation in fundamental research, which can have real impact on society and the economy alike, helping it achieve a ranking of 35th globally in the first ever Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings. UL attained this position, based on a league of 550 third level institutes worldwide, based on its performance in a number of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) rankings.

This strong focus has also allowed UL to gain a five-star rating for innovation and excellence from QS, the international ranking body, as well as successfully compete for and win the right to host 5 national centres of excellence, all of whom have significant industry involvement, and aim to tackle real world issues. UL has a strong international reach and involvement in the European Framework actions from FP2 to FP7, and current involvement in Horizon 2020 has grown UL’s international network of collaborators.


The PAT4Nano activities will be undertaken by the Stewart Group is a recently formed research group at the University of Limerick and Bernal Institute specialising in structural characterisation at the Nano and atomic scale, utilising the world class Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) facilities available within the Bernal Institute, including a monochromated, double aberration corrected Titan Themis TEM with 4 Quadrant EDS and a Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) spectrometer, and wide range of In situ stages for including liquid, gas and Cryo. This Microscope is also equipped with some of the most advanced electron detectors to allow us to study the structural dynamics in the in situ environments.

Our role within the PAT4Nano project is to provide imaging capability to validate and cross reference the spectroscopic methods being employed within the multi-Process Analytical Tools within the project. The Stewart group will be primarily be involved within work package 3: Technology Validation.

Andy Stewart

Lecturer in Microscopy

Andy is a Lecturer in Microscopy at the university of Limerick 2017- present, he specialises in Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) with an emphasis on diffraction and image reconstruction techniques. He spearheaded the overhaul of the TEM suite in the Bernal Institute, including the Double aberration Corrected Titan Themis, In Situ specimen holders liquid, gas and heating & biasing, K2-IS and OneView detectors. As well as a Helios G4 HX DualBeam FIB, and IonMill for sample preparation.

Andy graduated from the University of Glasgow with a PhD specialising in the crystallography of Microcrystals, before going onto hold postdoctoral position at Cornell, Stony Brook, Oxford and Mainz.

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