The Authority’s Research Programme is the direct responsibility of the NRA Research Manager who manages the Research Programme on a day-to-day basis. The Research Manager is supported on a part-time basis by specialist staff operating in the various areas of activity within the Authority who provide technical advice and management.
This is a full-time position dedicated to managing the Research Programme. The role of the Research Manager includes:
- Develop the Research Strategy for the Authority
- Identify and prioritise topics for inclusion in Annual Research Programme (with NRA Specialists and stakeholders)
- Manage the performance and delivery of research projects with technical advice from NRA Specialists
- Develop relationship with key stakeholders
- Develop relationship with research providers (universities, consultants, etc)
- Communicate research activities to Board and across NRA and key stakeholders
- Maintain contact with EU and national research initiatives; participate in international organisations such as FEHRL and CEDR.
It is essential, for a Research Programme to be properly embedded into the Authority’s core activities and for the results of a programme of research and technical consultancy to be effectively disseminated into codes, standards and practices, that there be clear linkage between the Research Programme and those personnel responsible for standards and particular areas of specialisation within the Authority. Failure to adequately integrate a programme of NRA sponsored research and technical consultancy into the different elements of the Authority’s core activities would significantly diminish the benefits of such a programme.
In order to achieve the necessary linkage between research and core activities, an internal network of specialist Research Mentors has been set up. The primary functions of the Research Mentors include:
- Maintain familiarity with worldwide trends in research in their area of specialisation,
- Maintain awareness of recent research publications in published journals, at conferences etc,
- Identify research priorities within their area of responsibility
- Collaborate with the Research Manager in respect of research and consultancy projects, including review and commentary on draft reports and assessment of service provider performance
- Ensure the implementation and effective dissemination of research results through the Authority’s standards and publications.
The following internal network of Mentors is in place:
- Archaeology - Daire O’Rourke, Ronan Swan, James Eogan
- Bridge technology - John Iliff, Richard Bowen, Liam Duffy, Fergal Cahill
- Economics - Michael Kennedy, Fergal Trace
- Environment - Vincent O’Malley
- NRA standards – Tim Ahern, Helen Hughes
- Pavement technology - Geraldine Walsh, Tom Casey, Kevin O’Rourke
- Planning and land use - Tara Spain, Martin Fagan
- Safety - Harry Cullen
- ITS – David Laoide-Kemp
- Network Operations - Pat Maher
- Geotechnics - William O’Keeffe
- High level objectives - Fred Barry, Eugene O’Connor
This list covers most of the key areas of current interest to the Authority. It will however be supplemented to meet demands, and external Mentors may be added if appropriate, e.g. behavioural sciences.