The Sustainable & Resilient Structures research group at the University of Galway was founded in 2008 by Prof. Jamie Goggins. The core expertise of the group is in developing sustainable and resilient structures for buildings and energy infrastructure. We apply leading-edge scientific and engineering methods to develop the improved infrastructure and built environment required for sustainable social and economic development. We have a strong history of collaboration with industry and international research institutes. We host Construct Innovate, Ireland's national research centre for construction technology and innovation. We are also part of the SFI MaREI Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine and lead the Materials & Structures research area within that national research centre. We are also a partner in the SFI Energy and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE) centre for doctoral training. We have developed a world-leading large structures test cell in the Alice Perry Engineering building at University of Galway. This is one of the few test facilities in the world available for accelerated life testing of full-scale tidal turbine blades, but we also use it for testing other large scale structural systems. In this state-of-the-art testing facility, located in the Alice Perry Engineering building in University of Galway, we are collaborating with and testing novel structures for world-leading leading marine renewable energy companies, testing large aerospace structures and testing various construction technologies. We also access other laboratories internationally to help deliver our research programme, such as numerous shake table test facilities in Europe for full-scale testing of structures subjected to real earthquake loading.

The group has secured more than €80 million funding from over 50 competitive grant proposals through a range of different funding sources including Horizon 2020, Science Foundation Ireland, Marine & Renewable Energy Ireland. Through this funding collaborations with industry leaders and experts have taken place, high quality testing and subsequent reports have been published as well as over 150 research papers in high impact factor peer-reviewed journals and international conferences. However, rather than resting on our laurels we are always looking for new innovative projects and collaborators.

We have also developed in-house advanced software, BladeComp, to design wind and tidal turbine blades. We have used this software to design rotor blades for the 2 MW Orbital Marine Power floating tidal turbine device, which is currently being manufactured in Ireland (Galway) by ÉireComposites and will be tested in our facility in the coming months. In the worldwide context, this will put the MaREI Centre at University of Galway at the forefront of design and testing of full-scale tidal turbine rotor blades, which is necessary to exploit the full potential of marine energy as a significant renewable resource.

We are also working on a number of projects to evaluate the effectiveness of technologies for retrofitting existing buildings, regarding their structural, environmental and energy performance, and their influence on health, safety and comfort of building users. Here we collaborate with colleagues from a range of disciplines, including architects, social scientists, geographers, engineers and economists, as one discipline on their own cannot address the huge challenge we face. It is estimated that over 97% of the EU building stock must be upgraded to achieve the 2050 decarbonisation vision. Additionally, 1.9 million of the ca. 2 million existing housing units in Ireland are required to be retrofitted for the Irish national housing stock to be considered nearly zero energy building (nZEB) standard.

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