Inaugural renewable energy bursary awarded to students researching hydrogen and construction law

12 May 2020

The bursary was run this year for the first time in memory of the late Niamh Burke by her former firm Arthur Cox and her family. The fund was promoted on behalf of her colleagues and family by the Irish Wind Energy Association.

Over a 20-year career Niamh advised on some of Ireland's largest energy, infrastructure and construction projects. To honour her memory and her contribution to the development of renewable energy in Ireland, the bursary was established in 2020 and offers up to €10,000 each year for a period of five years to individuals wishing to study or to carry out research in the field of renewable energy.

Alex McLean, Partner at Arthur Cox, said: ““We have been looking for an appropriate way to remember Niamh since her untimely passing in 2018. Together with her family, we felt that providing an educational stepping-stone for people in the renewable energy industry would be a fitting tribute to Niamh’s enormous contribution to this sector over her career."

Dr David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association, said: “Opportunities like this are so important for the next generation of leaders in our industry. The two successful applicants will bring with them a wealth of knowledge into the Irish energy and infrastructure landscape. We have a massive opportunity to combat climate change in Ireland through the development of renewable energy alternatives. Initiatives like this help to nurture talent in this sphere.”

The two successful applicants for the 2020 bursary are Kelvin Martins and Niall Mulvihill.

 Kelvin Martins Niall Mulvihill


Kelvin will begin a PhD to explore the role of hydrogen in Ireland’s decarbonisation strategy this September in Dublin City University. He is originally from Brazil and has a background in Production Engineering.

Upon receiving the bursary Kelvin Martins said: “I applied for the Niamh Burke Renewable Energy Bursary because it is a great opportunity for me to do a PhD related to sustainability and climate justice. My studies will start in September 2020 and my project will explore the potential of hydrogen in helping decarbonise the Irish energy system, integrating it with current energy generation technologies. I sincerely hope it will help instigate change in this carbon-intensive world and make a difference in today’s environmental crisis.”

Niall Mulvhill applied for the bursary to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma in Construction Law at the Law Society of Ireland. Niall is from Longford and has a background in Electrical Engineering, he has worked in the various roles in the wind industry since 2006.

Niall Mulvihill commented: “Receiving this bursary means that I can further my knowledge of construction and contracts law and use that knowledge in the Irish renewables industry. These will then be used in the development and delivery of future renewables projects in the Irish market, this is so important as we strive to achieve our 2030 targets”.