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Dr Colm Bracken

Colm Bracken

Name: Dr Colm Bracken

Title: Post Doctoral Research Fellow

E-Mail: cbracken@cp.dias.ie

Phone: +353 1 4406656 ext 352

Address:  31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2 D02-XF86

Research Interests: Optical/near-IR MKID detectors and read-outs, Far-IR TES detectors and feed systems, Numerical modelling for EM/RF/microwave simulation, and Quasi-optical analysis and design.

Biographical Sketch :
Colm studied physics with astrophysics at National University of Ireland, Maynooth, graduating in 2010. He received his PhD in 2015 from N.U.I. Maynooth for his research in electromagnetic analysis and design of far-infrared receivers and detectors for the SAFARI instrument on the SPICA space telescope, as part of a collaboration between ESA, N.U.I. Maynooth, SRON (the Netherlands), among other instututes. From 2015 to 2016 he worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the EU-FP7 funded FISICA (Far-Infrared Space Interferometer Critical Assessment) project, designing a baseline quasi-optical layout for a proposed double-Fourier interferometer space mission.
Colm held a temporary Lecturer/Asst. Professor position at University College Dublin from 2016 to 2017, lecturing undergraduate and graduate modules including Galaxies, Cosmology and the ISM; Space Mission Design; Gamma-ray Space Detectors Advanced Lab; Cubesat Subsystems Advanced Lab; while continuing his research in far-infrared instrumentation and simulation. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, working with Professor Tom Ray on large-format arrays of Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors for optical/near-infrared wavelengths.

Selected Publications:

1) Quasi-optical analysis of a far-infrared spatio-spectral space interferometer concept http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016InPhT..77..171B
2) MUSE – Mission to the Uranian system: Unveiling the evolution and formation of ice giants http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015AdSpR..55.2190B
3) Progress in spectral-spatial interferometry at multi-THz frequencies — Potential applications http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7460625
4) Optical modeling of waveguide coupled TES detectors towards the SAFARI instrument for
SPICA http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012SPIE.8452E..0LT

FOI Disclosure Log

Summary of Non-Personal Requests to the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies since 2014.

Date of Request Applicant Category Details of Request Decision


14/01/2016 Independent Researcher Initial request: Digital copy of all  international expense claims for each senior professor between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2015.   Request was subsequently amended  as follows: Details of  all international expense claims by Senior Professors in the two science Schools at DIAS  in 2014. 09/02/2016 Amended request granted in full
08/07/2016 Journalist Digital copies of a breakdown of payments made to companies for translating services between 1/1/13-31/12/15. 27/07/2016 Granted in full

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General Scholarship Information

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies was founded by Act of the Oireachtas (Legislature) in 1940.  At that time two constituent Schools were established, viz. the School of Celtic Studies and the School of Theoretical Physics.  In 1947 a third constituent School was established – the School of Cosmic Physics, having three sub-sections, viz. the Astronomy section (Dunsink Observatory, Co. Dublin), the Cosmic Ray section and the Geophysics section.

It is specified in the Establishment Order of each School that one of the functions and duties of the School is ‘the training of advanced students in methods of original research.’  This is done by the award each year of a limited number of research scholarships – scholarships are awarded for one year in the first instance and will be renewed, subject to satisfactory performance, for a further year; maximum tenure not to exceed three/four years.

The normal qualification required of candidates for scholarships is an Honours Masters or Ph.D. degree, or its equivalent, in an appropriate and relevant subject, who can produce evidence of capacity for original research.  When appointed, each scholar is expected to pursue a definite line of research under the direction of one of the Senior Professors.

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Scholarships are awarded without consideration of nationality, provided that the candidate satisfies Irish immigration requirements for residence in Dublin during the period of the Scholarship.  Application forms are available from individual schools.

Scholarships Income is provided – the current rates are €17,500 for Masters Degree holders and €25,000 for Ph.D holders.   This income is normally tax-free but the position is that individual cases are determined by the Revenue Commissioners.

Scholarships are intended to enable their holders to establish a research career in one of the fields for which the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies has responsibility.  DIAS is not a teaching institution; it does not provide set courses of lectures and has no power to award degrees.  Individual Schools do, however, arrange for seminars, regular or occasional, in specialised subjects.


Admin Organogram 2016

STP Organogram 2016

SCS Organogram 2016

SCP Organogram 2016

Information Routinely Published and Miscellaneous

  • Research Publications.

The School of Celtic Studies publishes scholarly books on a broad range of topics in its fields of interest in Old, Middle & Modern Irish including early Irish law, manuscript catalogues, medieval and modern literature and texts, annals, bardic poetry, Welsh grammar, Breton literature and language, Irish dialect monographs & Hiberno-Latin.  The books can be purchased directly from the School (DIAS bookshop).

The Schools of Theoretical and Cosmic Physics publish the results of their research in various international academic journals.  Their published papers can be viewed here :

School of Theoretical Physics

School of Cosmic Physics – Astronomy & Astrophysics Section

School of Cosmic Physics – Geophysics Section

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Procurement Policies.

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Schedule of  public contracts awarded over €10k for ICT and over €25k for other contracts ( contract type, contractor, value, award date, duration and brief description)

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Remuneration of Governing Board Members

Members including the Chairman of the Governing Boards/Council are non-remunerated.     Members are paid travel expenses for attendance at Board meetings and accommodation is also provided for overseas members.    LINK TO TRAVEL RATES FOR BOARD MEMBERS

Decision Making Procedures

Decisions in relation to financial matters and the general management of DIAS are made by Council. The Governing Boards of the Schools are responsible for the research programme of their respective Schools. Decisions in relation to Scholarship Awards and academic appointments are also made by the Governing Board.  The research work of the Schools is reviewed by an external Panel of Experts every five years.

Functions and Public Services provided

The functions of the DIAS as laid down in the Act of Establishment  is to “provide facilities for the furtherance of advanced study and the conduct of research in specialised branches of knowledge and for the publication of the results of advanced study and research whether carried on under the auspices of the Institute or otherwise” (IAS Act 1940).   Through its constituent schools, it conducts research in the fields of Celtic Studies, Theoretical Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics and Geophysics.   The statutory remit of individual Schools laid down in the respective School Establishment Orders.

Given the specialist nature of DIAS’ research work, its activities is mostly of interest to scholars and academics in the national and international community.   In the two science schools in particular a lot of the work is carried out as part of joint externally funded  research projects with partners in universities and other research organisations within Ireland and abroad.     The result of the research is published in books and articles in specialised academic journals.  The Research staff present their work at various national and international conferences and workshops.  Some academic journals are available on the Schools’ websites and scientific papers are also published electronically in open source repositories. Each School publishes a detailed annual Research Report on their work which is available on the DIAS website.

Some aspects of the work of the Schools are specifically directed at the general public. Each of the Schools deliver a public lecture every year on a topic related to the work under study in the School.   Various public outreach events are organised on a regular basis.   The School of Cosmic Physics runs an annual programme of events for the general public at Dunsink Observatory including lectures, guided school tours, workshops as well as the popular open nights during the winter months.    Certain aspects of the geophysics research programme and some of the more general publications of the School of Celtic Studies would also be of interest to the general public.  The Geophysics section also operates a number of national facilities:  Irish National Seismic Network, Seismology in Schools Programme, National Data Centre for CTBTO.

DIAS awards a limited number of scholarships every year to advanced students in the fields of research that are under investigation in the constituent schools.  Awards are for one year in the first instance and will be renewed, subject to satisfactory performance, for a further three/four years.  General Scholarship Information