President & Provost, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Patrick Prendergast was elected by academic staff and student representatives as the 44th Provost of Trinity College Dublin, coming into office on August 1st, 2011. The Provost is the Chief Officer of the university responsible to the Board and ultimately to the State for the performance of the university. A change to the Statutes in 2012 confirmed the title of the office as “President & Provost” in matters of external affairs. Previous leadership roles were as Vice-Provost /Chief Academic Officer (2008-2011) and Dean of Graduate Studies (2004-2007). He served on the board of several companies, and on the board of Tallaght Hospital, a large academic hospital in Dublin. He was appointed by the European Commission to the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in 2012. He participated in the Glion Colloquium, an independent think tank committed to the future of research universities at which he spoke on Global Research Questions and Institutional Research Strategies in 2015, and on The Public-to-Private Shift in Universities: Consequences for Leadership in 2017.
Since coming into office as Provost, Dr Prendergast has strengthened Trinity’s reputation as a university of global consequence, known for realizing student potential and for research and scholarship that benefits Ireland and the world. Under his Provostship so far, Trinity has developed a Global Relations Strategy which has doubled international student enrolments and student mobility, has engaged with industry through a new Innovation & Entrepreneurship Strategy, and has restructured the university’s administration into three divisions, including a significant focus on commercial revenue generation through the Commercial Revenue Unit (CRU). Projects under development include the new Trinity School of Business co-located with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub, as well as the development of E3: the Engineering, Energy, and the Environment Institute. These developments culminated in the launch of a new Strategic Plan for Trinity in November 2014, and were reviewed in Dr Prendergast’s Mid-Term address to Students and Faculty in October 2016.
In September 2016 a “Provost’s Council” was created. Consisting of alumni and benefactors of the university, it advises the Provost on how to advance Trinity’s position in the world by financing new projects and initiatives.
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Dr Prendergast came to Trinity as an undergraduate in 1983, where he also completed a PhD. After post-doctoral positions in Bologna, Italy and Nijmegen, The Netherlands, he was appointed to the engineering faculty in Trinity College Dublin in 1995. He has held Visiting Professorships at the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Poland; Erasmus University Rotterdam; The Technical University of Delft; and, in 2008, at University Polytechnic of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona.
Prior to his appointment as Provost, he was Professor of Bioengineering where he introduced the teaching of biomechanics into the engineering curriculum, founded the Masters Programme in Bioengineering, and published several hundred articles related to implant design and tissue mechanobiology. During this period he was a Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator and held many industry-funded and EU-funded research grants.
Dr Prendergast holds a BA, BAI, PhD, and ScD degrees, all from Trinity College Dublin. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA), a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering (FIAE) and in 2013 was elected an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in the UK. In 2016 he was awarded honorary Fellowship of the Anatomical Society (HonFAS) in recognition of his contributions to bioengineering and anatomy.