News and updates

[December 17, 2020]

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have shed new light on the formation mechanisms of a rare earth-bearing mineral that is in increasingly high demand across the globe for its use in the green energy and tech industries.

This discovery has important economic implications because there are no substitute alternatives to these rare earth elements (REEs), which are indispensable due to their ability to form small and very powerful magnets essential for smart devices and low-carbon energy generation (e.g., electronics, wind turbines, hybrid cars).

Read press release from Trinity College Dublin here. [Irish Times] [EurekAlert]
Read the paper here.

[November 2, 2020]

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD today announced 71 research grants through the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme valued at €53 million. Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez Blanco of TCD, from iCRAG, has been awarded funding through the Science Foundation Ireland Frontiers for the Future Programme.

Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez Blanco, the Ussher Assistant Professor in Nanomineralogy in Trinity College Dublin, has been awarded €467,646 to conduct the SEleCTOR project – SEparating Critical metals ThrOugh mineRal crystallization with support from GSI and the EPA. The rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements that are essential for clean and smart technologies, including smartphones, computers, lasers, wind turbines and hybrid cars. While extracted from rocks, in order to be useful industrially, these elements also have to be separated from each other. SEleCTOR will develop novel, clean and cheap protocols to separate rare earths from water to improve on current processes which are inefficient and environmentally damaging.

The programme was run in collaboration with the Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 38 industrial collaborators are engaging in the research programmes.

Read the news release here.

[May 30, 2020]

Would you like to join my group and do a PhD in mineralogy – geochemistry at the Department of Geology (School of Natural Sciences) in Trinity College Dublin? I am recruiting 2 PhDs to work on separation of critical metals through mineral crystallization.
More information:
Application deadline: June 30, 2020.
Start date: Sept 1, 2020.


[March 1, 2020]

I am very grateful to the European Association of Geochemistry for the 2020 Distinguished Lecturer Award I have received.
The European Association of Geochemistry started its Distinguished Lecture Program in 2011 and it currently focuses on Central and Eastern Europe. This program aims to introduce and motivate scientists and students located in under-represented regions of the world to emerging research areas in geochemistry. The Distinguished Lecturer is selected each year based on a combination of outstanding research contributions to geochemistry and the ability to clearly communicate these contributions to a broad audience.


TARGETing crystallisation for Enhanced Carbon Capture and Storage (TARGET-CCS).
[May 30, 2018]

 Would you like to do a PhD about mineral Carbon Capture and Storage at the Department of Geology (School of Natural Sciences) of Trinity College Dublin? iCRAG and the Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) are delighted to invite applications from suitably qualified applicants to the iCRAGGSI Environmental Geosciences PhD Programme, supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Geological Survey Ireland. I am recruiting a PhD student who will work on this topic and will become part of iCRAG centre and the Geological Survey Ireland. You can find all details in this link and this link. Deadline for online applications is 1pm, Friday 22 June 2018.

The iCRAG – GSI Environmental Geosciences PhD Programme will adhere to the Seven Principles of Innovative Doctoral Training and the National Framework of Doctoral Education. It will provide training with a strong disciplinary base and both a policy and innovation focus, which delivers not only a high-quality research experience and training for the student, but also preparation for varied and flexible careers in a wide variety of settings. Each student will be fully integrated into the doctoral programmes at local level and will have access to a range of academic courses, group meetings, seminars and presentations. Each postgraduate student will complete a Research and Professional Development plan, with input from their postgraduate supervisor. The Research and Professional Development plan will comprise three sections: research plan; professional development plan and doctoral studies panel meetings. The plan will give the student a framework within which to reflect on their skills as a researcher, set their goals and build a portfolio of evidence for progress review meetings and future job applications. Specific cohort training will comprise several workshops which will align with existing iCRAG activities. Each student will have the opportunity to undertake a secondment during their PhD training.

Projects are fully funded for four years with a stipend of €18,500 per annum, includes fees for EU applicants, and have a start date of 3rd September 2018.


[February 26, 2018]
Would you like to develop your career in the energy sector? Our new M.Sc. Energy Science, taught by the Schools of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Natural Sciences will launch at Trinity College Dublin in Sept 2018. This Master in Energy Science is designed to equip students with the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to develop careers in the global energy sector.

The M.Sc. in Energy Science will launch in September 2018 and will consist of six taught modules worth 10 ECTS each. These are structured around a cross-cutting introductory module. The introductory module is designed to furnish students with all of the basic physics, chemistry and engineering concepts that are required to become an “Energy Scientist”. These basics are complemented by essential “Economics of Energy” and “Principles of Energy Policy”. Now with the ability to understand and analyse the competing aspects of all of the essential science, engineering and economics pertinent to the energy discipline, the students proceed to Five specialised technically orientated core modules; “Conventional Energy Sources & Technologies”, “Electric Power Generation and Distribution”, “Sustainable Energy Sources & Technologies I & II”, and “Managing the impact of Energy Utilisation”. With these modules completed and examined in the months September to April, students proceed to a 15 week research project worth 30 ECTS in a leading research laboratory or in industry in the months of May-August.

Find full information here: